Brad Smith Motorsports Press Release!
Best Laid Plans…Lap 86 Foils Brad Smith’s Strategy In 300th ARCA Start At Daytona!
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL February 10th, 2018
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL (February 10th, 2018)
Brad Smith has been racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard’s since 1988. In that time, he’s developed certain strategies for certain races and the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire was no different. “On restrictor plate tracks like here at Daytona, I like to try and lay back aways and let things sort out and if there’s any problems, hopefully by the time I get there, I’ll be able to drive right through it.”
In this being his 300th ARCA start, owner and NASCAR legend James Hylton and lead engineer Terry Strange worked on driveability during the week, trying to get their Shelby Twp., MI driver comfortable on the track. And by the last practice session Friday morning, Smith felt his Copraya.com/Website Builders Ford felt good enough to park it until the afternoons General Tire Pole Qualifying time came around. After practicing at 176.118, the team was excited and then drew the 5th time trial group. But Brad lost the draft in the four minutes allotted and ran 174.968 which was good for 31st.
“My mistake. I was gonna hang back at first then make my move but I should’ve done it a lap earlier.” In actuality, it turned out well since Smith likes to “stick to the plan” andv stay behind on restrictor plate facilities and try and make that move late. And when the green flag waved today a little after 5PM EST, the #48 was sticking to that plan as Smith ran alone. However, he then thought he felt a vibration that he experienced only in the turns, “kind of like a wheel weight fell off or something”.
Right before the first caution, Smith went down a lap but was the recipient of the free pass. But he could not hear at times over the radios and thought ARCA was sending cars down pit road to miss track debris. He went by his stall, the free pass was taken away for pitting too early, and Smith apologized for the miscue but then they received the wave around and Brad was able to come around and catch the tail end of the field.
When racing resumed, almost immediately there was a crash in the tri-oval and he led a back of cars around it unscathed. Being as it was lap 42, the team brought Smith down pit road for gas and a thorough cleaning of a badly oiled windshield. They were now set to run to the finish, the crew not expecting to see the car again until then finish. As the 80 lapper wound down and coming to the checkered flag, Smith still felt he should continue to play it safe and it was a good call as there was another massive pileup that happened in the backstretch. During the red flag, everyone now concurred that the next and presumably last restart they should go for it. Smith was now 14th. On what everyone believed to be the last restart, the green and white flags were unfurled and Brad was waiting to be cleared to the bottom but that opportunity never came but Smith gained another spot into 13th in the high lane and was gunning for his best ever finish. However up front heading into three, the leaders wrecked and blocked the track. Brad brushed the wall trying to miss it all but as he aimed for a hole, he started sliding in the fluids and couldn’t avoid T-boning the 06. Fortunately both were ok but the 48 couldn’t refire so it would come back on the hook… and Smith would go to the infield care center (a series requirement when someone can’t drive away).
“I really only tried hard that last restart,” stated the 49-year-old. “Everything was pretty much going according to that plan…all up until that last lap! Disappointed, but we’ll regroup for Nashville and figure out our options for what to bring to Talladega.” Smith was credited with 23rd place.
You can visit Brad Smith at his website, created by Copraya.com/Website Builders at bradsmithmotorsports.com .
Also, receive up to the minute Brad Smith updates on just about any social media platform at @DriverBradSmith.
He also uses the hashtags #DriverBradSmith #BradAt300 #HyltonMotorsports2018 #4DecadesOfARCARacing #ARCARacing #BradFansBESTFans
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About Brad Smith: Brad is closing in on his milestone 300th career ARCA start and has been a consistent top-20 driver throughout his career. In 2016 he finished 6th in ARCA Driver Points and also won the inaugural ARCA General Tire “Spirit Award”. He also was the winner of the ARCA “Sportsman of the Year” award in 2006. He is currently 8th in Driver Points for the 2017 season.
About James Hylton Motorsports: A full-time ARCA team fielded by legendary NASCAR driver James Hylton, Sr., Hylton Motorsports is the longest-running consistent stock car racing team in the United States. Formed in the early-60’s, Hylton Motorsports continues to field competitive cars even after James Hylton recently retired from driving. James was the 1966 NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year and three-time runner-up in NASCAR Driver Championship points. Hylton Motorsports is running full-time in ARCA for a 25th season.
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