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 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!!!
Well, this is the 1st Daytona opening week without Hylton being present at the track in over 50 years, this team walked into this track with heavy hearts but knowing the Hylton's were looking over their shoulder in hopes of making both James and Tweet as proud as can be. We brought a brand new car to the track, moving from Ford's to Chevy's, it was a pretty looking machine. It was a rough week, car was new to us and they were a lot of things we needed to learn about it which kept us busy for the entire time that we were out the track. This team came together accomplished all this and put a pretty good race car on the track, one that would have made both James and Tweet proud from above. This too could have not been accomplished without the help, from a distance, home recoverying from yet another surgery due to the tragic accident last year, from Terry Strange who in our hearts is always our crew chief and will always be our crew Chief. Via many phone/text conversations Terry was there for us the entire time and we thank him so much and he was missed at the track we just want him to be better so that we could see him again working side-by-side on this race car. Qualifying didn't go so well as Brad was having problems with the petals on the the car, and wound up losing the pack and the draft when the car stalled which relinquished him to a 34th place start in the Lucas oil 200 on Saturday. Still with high hopes knowing that we had a stout ride We would be OK for the race. Starting 34th Brad ran a smart race keeping the car out of the many accidents that happened and bringing his car home in 19th position while losing his clutch pedal during the race which hindered his ability to shift through the gears properly and keep up with the pack, but being that we had a strong car we will able to come home completing every lap but 1. Thanks again to the team, Jake, Rush, Little Jeff, Jeff D. John W, John B, Carlos. Brian, Dave, Carl, Uncle Ed, and out PR guy Kevin, for the hard work they put in it was seen by what we put on the track, we still have a lot more work to do on this car for Talladega which will be the next time we will use it but I guarantee you this it will be a better car than it was this week as we did learn a lot. Also want to thank Brad and his brother Jeff for all the hard work and dedication they put in to make sure that the 48 made it to the track this week, if it wasn't for those 2 guys we would have not been here either and the string of the 48 at Daytona ended, So thank you Brad and thank you Jeff, you guys made our dreams continue on and you made James and Tweets proud and memory live on. Next race is March 9th in Pensacola Florida when we will have our short track car ready to go and hoping for better finish there and catapult our season to another top 10 points finish for the 4th year in a row.
James Hylton and his son pass away in a car accident Saturday. RIP. I hope the team can stay afloat without one of the greatest heartfelt drivers/owners in ARCA.