Welcome to the the ARCA page of a team you just have to love due to it's determination, lead by an Independent driver Brad Smith.
Well the 8 week of the Menards ARCA racing series is in the books with the running of the General Tire #Anywhere is Possible 200 at Pocono Raceway, Congratulations to the #22 team, Ty Majeski, with their win.Brad Smith pulled into Pocono hoping for a better week than in Charlotte the week prior as he was back with the crew he calls "The Jersey Boys". At Pocono this week there was an optional practice on Wednesday where they had 15 cars participating in, the #48 team was not one, to which they started their weekend events on Thursday. Thursday morning garages opened at 9AM and Brad pulls his #48 Copray Web machine into the Pocono Raceway garage area feeling good about his car and the team support he will have in this weekend. Thursday was no on track action, all tweeking and tech. Garages opened at 9AM and to work went the #48 crew verifying all nuts and bolts are tight, decals in place, engine in race shape and through tech the car went. 1st we go through engine where Earl looks at our spacers and takes carburetor measurements, while Ilmor takes readings from the ignition box, all passed. On to templets, where they measure the body shape all over to make sure there is no aero advantages on the car, once again passed and moving on. Next stop is the scales where the measure roof height, spoiler height and chassis height, a few adjustments needed here, not many, but most cars need adjustments here, our inspection day was over and back to the hauler. For the most part day was over for the team, just cleaned the car and covered the car for the pending storms to hit the area overnight. Friday is here, and it is to be a busy day for the team, practice at 9AM, qualifying at 2PM and the race at 5:45PM, but the track had different plans for this day. With all the rain which came through the area over the previous few days the track developed "weepers" in turn 2 and on the front stretch next to the exit of pit road. The track team worked for hours on this while we attend to the car. We warmed up the oil in order to start the motor to listen for anything we may see or hear that could be an issue with the motor. We did hear a sound we did not like and brought Ilmor over who sent over one of their technicians to looked at the motor and the deemed the motor ok to race as the noise could be from the power steering pump of a small exhaust leak. Well with track finally ready, and now our 45 minute practice session will become our qualifying session as well, lining us up according to practice speeds, this all due to the time lost to track repair and us not getting on to the track until 11:30. Brad went out in practice and ran 7 laps and stated car felt comfortable, which is good and put up the 16th fastest speed in the session, so we are to start the General Tire #Anywhere is Possible 200 in the 16th position. After practice we looked over the car one more time, topped off fuel, made final adjustments and pushed the car to staging area for the race, now it is sit and wait. 5 PM comes and drivers are called to the cars to driver them to pit road for the introductions on pit road next to the cars. 5:42 comes and drivers strapped in and the command is given, "Gentleman Start Your Engines", Brad now rolls on to the track confident he can come home on this day with a good finish, checked flies and Brad is on his quest for a win on this day. Brad running a smooth race comes over the headset stating he would like to put rounds into the left side when we pit as the car was getting loose, especially in turn 3. We get this chance on lap 29 where we made the adjustment, added a can of Sunoco race fuel, cleaned windshield and checked tire wear and sent Brad back out. Green waves and Brad restarts in the 16th position. Brad came on the radio lap 54 and stated that the car was losing power in turn 3 and then restoring, as well as still fighting the loose race car and also earlier is water gauge when to 0, not knowing the water temperature is not a good situation. Needed this car next week in Michigan Brad decided to take the position he was in and bring the car in and call it a day as the adjustments necessary could not be done on pit road and would take too long. Debriefing in the pits we think we have a game plan to fix all and should be fine for the VizCom 200 in Michigan. The #48 team finishes in 16th position and maintains its 7th place position in the points standings, not what we wanted, but we will take it with all the issues we encountered.I want to thank the crew on this day as they did a great job, Brian (tires and adjustments), Dennis(tires and windows), Uncle Ed,(catch can) Jake (gasman) and Rush (spotter). So now it is back to the garage to make the necessary adjustments and it is off to Michigan for next weeks race. Thanks again for the support, the #48 team really appreciates it!! See ya at the track!!
This week was the running of the General Tire 150 down at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the #48 team and Brad happy to be back in action after missing the race in Toledo last week due to engine issues. While that car is still in the shop being worked on, the #48 Smith Brothers Racing Team pulled their beautiful looking speedway car into Charlotte Motor Speedway looking to rebound from a major disappointment. Brad unloaded and not much was need to be done with the car as it had not been used since Talladega and was race ready for this weekend. Brad unloaded and in practice put up the 23rd fastest time, not exactly what they were expecting, but Brad knew he had a stout car and no matter what was on the charts this car was capable of more, so no panic on the #48 team. Brad next took the track for qualifying, looking to better his practice speed and show the field he was one to look out for today. Unfortunately improving was not in the cards for us with Brad qualifying at the same position as practice, 23rd. Marred so far back in the field would present a challenge for Brad and team, but they were up for the challenge. Brad buckled in for the General Tire 150 on this evening with visions of a safe and successful race, looking to maintain his points position. Unfortunately, again, hoped were dampered has Brad fought and ill handling car and had to park it after only completing 10 laps. Another week of disappointment for the #48 crew , but a smart move as they would rather bring the car home in one piece, than wind up in the wall trying to push it. With this, Brad comes home in 23rd position, and a car still ready to run next week at Pocono in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 still sitting 7th in the ARCA Menards Series points standings. Well it's time to get ready for next week and turn this season around, Pocono is a good track for Brad and good place to do it. We would like to thank all for the support, means a lot!! So come see us at Pocono and cheer us on
Well this weeks race, Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200, in Toledo has come and gone, only with one huge downside, no #48 in the field, but not without a galant effort from Brad and a few others from the #48 who were able to lend a hand. The engine issue that arose during the running of the General Tire Music City 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville on May 5th were a bit too much to overcome. Leaving that race the team knew they had work ahead of them, but also did not expect it to be as extensive as having to perform a motor replacement. The loss of Hylton Motorsports backing the team put resources at a minimum, but Brad was able to find another motor, but the work was time consuming and laborious as nothing seem to go easy with the installation as it was and older motor to which the team was trying to rehab in hope's to be competitive on the track. The call came at 4AM the day before the race that chances of seeing the #48 in Toledo had vanished, making Brad's 4th Top 10 finish in a row a good more challenging task for him and the team. Brad being the positive driver is was upset but promised we will be back next race and we will overcome.So back at the shop Brad and team are hard at work to assure a start next week at Charlotte in the General Tire 150 and the following week in Pocono for the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200.Brad currently sits 7th in the ARCA points standings and would like to thank each of you for the support and following the #48 team, it means a lot to him. We are always looking for sponsors to help us compete competitive, so keep eyes and ears open. We will see you next week in Charlotte, stop by and see us!!
After an emotional weekend the prior race in Talladega, being able to avoid “The Big One” and finishing a competitive 16th place, moving up to 5th in driver points, the #48 team was looking to ride the momentum this week into Nashville in the running of the General Tire Music City 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions.
On Friday the #48 team, driving from their home base in Michigan, hauled their Copraya.com/HIE Publishing #48 through the gates of Fairgrounds Speedway for this week’s running of General Tire Music City 200. Friday was not a day of much activity as it was set aside for the teams to unload cars and equipment, on track or working on cars not permitted. Being that the #48 team unloaded and checked themselves in at their hotels with thoughts of a good race day on Saturday.
Upon arrival at the track on Saturday, looking at the sky and their radars, all knew weather would be a factor on this day and it would be very questionable as to whether or not they would be able to get the race in, if any racing at all, if not the #48 team would have to wait for Sunday to continue their momentum. The weather held out long enough for ARCA to get a practice in, but would not cooperate in letting them get the Main Event in on this day; Brad’s hopes of winning General Tire Music City 200 are put on hold for the next day.
Unfortunately the practice session was not all that the Copraya.com #48 racing team expected as towards the end of the practice session heard a noise on the lower half of the motor forcing them to pull in early to assess the issue and left them 19th on the speed charts for the upcoming race. The #48 Team worked on the car until the weather rolled in and they hoped that what they had done would be enough to have them run and be competitive the next day as with the weather as it was ARCA knew that they could not get the race in on this evening and postponed it till Sunday at 2PM EST.
Sunday is here, skies have cleared, #48 teams hopes hinging all the work done to the car the prior evening was the answer to a successful race day. Being that qualifying was rained out on Saturday, according to ARCA rules starting order for the race is based on the last practice speeds, being that the #48 Copraya.com/HIE Publishing would start 19th on this day. This is not a damper for the team, but they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them.
Well 1:45PM rolled around, the #48 car is in line for the running of the General Tire Music City 200, Brad is getting ready to strap in for a long grueling 200 lap, 100 mile race, looking for a finish that will keep him 5th in driver’s points or higher by the completion of the race. Well time is here, “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” is announced, race is about to begin and a long day at the track for the crew and driver, but this was not to be. Brad drove off pit road and on to the track and during the caution laps started feeling the vibration and radioed to the crew that it doesn’t seem the issue was not fixed. Well the green flag dropped and while getting up to speed the vibration progressively became worse and Brad after a lap pulled the car in hopes not to create more harm to whatever has let go than necessary.
With car on pit road they assessed the issue to the clutch fitting, something that plagued this team earlier in the year, so their race day was over and it was back to Michigan and a long week of work ahead of them to get this short track car ready for the next race. So with the race day over, the #48 team dejected as it was not the day they expected, Brad dropping to 7th in points, they packed up hoping to rebound next week in the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway on May 19th. We will see you at the track next week, come out and cheer us on!!
With heavy hearts and high expectations the #48 car rolled into Talladega this weekend, as this weekend marked the one year Anniversary of the tragic accident taking the patriarch of our racing family, James Hylton Sr. and his son James “Tweet” Hylton Jr. Passing through the gates of Talladega was the same car in which we used at Daytona, which was a stout car, being that it was a new car to us at the time we learned what we like and we could improve on to be more competitive. Between Daytona and Talladega weekend many improvements were made to the car hoping to make it more competitive, this was proven to be true.
Our goal coming into any restrictor plate race is simple: race conservative, avoid the big one/s, stay with the lead pack, or keep them within our reach, most importantly finish the race in one piece, (car and driver after another devastating accident in 2016 related to racing Talladega weekend for this team happened which put Brad out of the car for one full year), in hopes that this would translate into a decent finish.
This was the 48 teams plan knowing we needed to get our overall lap count percentage increased due to ARCA incentives, as well as we desperately need time, instead of fixing our superspeedway car, getting back home to improving our car short track car before leaving for the next race in Nashville in 5 days. A poor finish or a DNF was not an option as this would have devastated our 2019 racing program.
The team spent a great deal of time making small, but necessary adjustments, to the car on Inspection Day (Thursday), knowing from our previous efforts with this car at Daytona, would make this car more competitive this race weekend. These adjustments were proven to be successful as we brought home a top~25 qualifying effort.
Led by our Crew Chief Rush McGrady, this teams efforts and patience of the crew were greatly appreciated by the driver, Brad Smith, as we had numerous changes to make early on in order to be competitive. Very early in the race the 48 hooked up with the #11 car in a 2~car draft and Brad drafted with him most of the race. The 11 car owner by Andy Hillenburg, knowing the quality of his cars and the driver Brad felt comfortable drafting with him. Andy has been a good friend of ours for years and our superspeedway car was actually in his shop being worked on before Daytona, so Brad felt we were in good company from a drafting-partner perspective knowing that these cars had similar set-up’s.
The first half of the race, we raced our race as planned, it was pretty much caution free, when one came about it was timely for the 48 team as we were in our Sunoco racing fuel window. The team pulled off a flawless fuel-only pit stop, due to the efforts of Carlos Leon performing this task for the 1st time in his ARCA career.
The second half of the race did breed a few cautions, but we came in with a plan and kept with it, continuing to following the #11 until the final laps of the race Brad finished the race with no damage to the car and with a respectable 16th place finish, mission accomplished
Brad would like to extend special thanks to our sponsors, Copraya.com and HIE Publishing, for their support race in and race out, and very special thanks to my volunteer crew for their huge effort this weekend. We are an independent team fueled by passion and our love for the sport which was clearly evident this weekend.
Looking back on this weekend, I think James and Tweet were smiling down, guiding us, and we made them proud of our efforts and the results of the #48 team. Well, it's to load up, head back to Michigan, unload, and get ready get our short track car for Nashville in 5 days. This team is driving home with smiles leaving Talladega with the car in one piece having run the race we planned on running while moving up to 5th place in Driver Points.
The 48 team would like to thank everyone for their support and we will see you next week in Nashville!!!