Now after a disappointing week at Nashville Hylton Motosports was looking for a fresh start to the season at Salem, was not to be as they went from bad to worse. Let's start before the track, on the way down James had issues with out hauler, "The bus", as the he had motor issues and breaking down on the road on the way to the track. After getting the hauler running again they stopped for the night only to wake up in the AM with a flat tire on the trailor, only a prelude of things to come. The team hoping all the weekends bad luck was behind them unloaded and began to prep the car for what they hoped would be a good race weekend. Practice rolls around and the 48 gets on the track, driver much happier with the car than in Nashville the previous week, and then it hits, the motor let's go, race weekend is over for Hylton Motorsports as they do not have a reserve motor, this being a big hit as Brad will lose bonus points later down the road for competing in all the races. Not only did Hylton Motorsports lose a motor but so did Basham racing, being that Brad's weekend was over, and the Basham's had access to another motor they assisted them through the night to get the #34 ready for race day. Oh, and did I mention they still had to work on their own hauler so James could make it home the next day. Even though it was a loss for Hylton Motorsports it was a successful weekend for the Basham's as they brought their car home on the 15th position . Well another weekend down and next is Talladega, and still alot of work to be completed on the speedway car due to the accident Brad had in overtime in Daytona, but we know Terry will have it ready and as competitive as it was in Daytona, so expect a comeback week for Hylton Motorsports this upcoming week!!
A little behind, but here we go! Well there was a good stretch of time off between Daytona and Nashville, good for the Hylton Motorsports team as they needed the time to prepare the car in which they purchased over the winter for its inaugural race for Hylton Motorsports. Well, lets say it wasnt the outcome the were striving for, but they did learn alot about the car. Let's say, they unloaded the car and it was nothing but hard work and elbow grease to finish the car for this race weekend. Practice was a good indication of what was to come as the car was 4.3 sec off the top practice speed, really not what was expected but put the back to the grind to figure out what went wrong. The hard work put them in the right direction, but not where they wanted to be as they qualified 2.5sec of the pole position in 22nd starting spot. With that all behind the guys came raceday, hopes as always high, but as the race started they knew this was not to be their day as the car was I'll handling and they could not maintain minimum speed and were requested to get off the track and try to get the car in race shape. Team knew there wasn't much they could do at this point, looked at a few things and ran until asked to leave the track again. All in all they ran 18 circuits leaving them to finish 22nd and 12 in the points standing. Real disappointment, but you are bound to have off weeks and they are hoping this is the only one of the season. They packed up and now to get the car ready for Salem the following week.
Well today started with high hopes for what would be the day of Brad's 300 career ARCA start, unfortunately this days was not going to end as Brad or the team.
The day started with the garage opening at 10AM and teams being able to make final adjustments at 10:30. The 48 team looked over the car too assure it was race ready and topped it off with fuel leaving three crew with nothing to do until there pushout to the starting grid at 4PM
This Daytona, as it is every year the fans have the opportunity to meet the drivers to say hello, shake a hand, takes a picture and walk away with an autograph. Brad must have made the day of 150 or more fans today, providing these fans the ultimate racing experience.
Now we forward to 4:30 whet we strapped in Brad into his Hylton Motorsports entry to make his 300th career start and high hopes for a great finish which was not to be. Brad started the race losing the lead pack rather quickly resulting him losing a lap by lap 17. Within this timeframe the 48 also picked up a vibration but it was decided to leave the car out and hope Brad could drive with it as coming in would have resulted him the team losing a lap. On lap 23 the 1st caution came out and being that Brad was the 1st car one lap down he was granted the "Lucky Dog" putting him back on the lead lap and a second chance at a good finish. Under the caution laps Brad began feeling a loss of power and this became a big decision for the team as to what to do. The crew chief and Brad decided to stay out as even if the motor was going sour there was nothing they could do so they opted to try and run as many laps as possible. Restarts were also a challenge as getting up to speed was an issue and while at top speed could only peak at 6600rmp's when normally these cars will run at 7000-7200rpm's. On lap 40 or so another caution flag flew and the 48 team decide to come in pack the 48 car with Sunoco racing fuel and clean the window as they were well within the windows to make it to the end of the race without another pit stop unless they had a tire issue. Luckily around lap 54 or so the car started showing life again and on lap 58 of the race Brad ran his fastest lap at an average speed of 178.417mph. As at any Daytona race, as you get closer to the end of the race the drivers up front become more impatient and of course this leads to accident after accident, and this race was no different. With the field taking the white flag and the field on the backstretch her came a big accident. With Brad's smart driving and patience after this accident Brad found himself restarting in the 14th position for the green/ checkered finish, but unfortunately the wrecking was not over. After the field took the green flag the two leaders decided to start beating and banging to the point where they took each other out along with 6 other drivers and one of them being Brad. Brad was riding the high line in hopes to clear the accident until he was hit from behind and still looking at the opening to make it through only found the opportunity short lived as the opening closed up quickly collecting Brad. Brad fortunately was ok after the accident but we could not say the same for the car. The car had extensive damage to the left side of the car, the only thing we could do wad load it up on three hauler and take it back to the shop and hope too be able to have the car ready for Talladega which would be the next time we would be using the particular car.
No, this was not the finish the team hoped to see for Brad's 300th career finish but this is racing. This had not diminish the teams hope for a great 2018 racing season, we are stil very optimistic and hope you are along for the ride with us, and we hope too see you at the track someday!!!!
After a successful Thursday as Daytona speedway, the 48 teamhad high hopes for the Friday qualifying session.
The day started like any other day in the ARCA garage for the 48 team, making last minute adjustments to the car and getting Brad out on the track for final practice. Practice stated at 9:30 and we sent Brad out to equal or better than day before' s speeds, unfortunately not to be. Brad could not hook up with a good draft and posted most single car speeds, and being the sun was beating down on the track the speeds were a bit slower than the day before when we ran single car runs. All in all the driver was happy with the car and felt comfortable with the handling, that was most important as we knew what the car could do.
Team still very positive we prepped the car for final inspection before qualifying, few more tweeks here and there and off we were to the inspection stations once again. As throughout the weekend, thanks too the crew chiefs hard work back at the shop we made it through inspection flawlessly, and note time to lineup on the track for qualifying.
Qualifying was being done in packs of 6 or 7 for a 4 minute run with you trying to lay down your fastest speed. Many people have different ways of approaching this type of qualifying sessions, one, stay in line and trying to gain the fastest speeds that the pack can obtain, two, due what we call a bonzi run whet you lay back and try to suck back up to the pack as Fujitsu is a very effective way of going really fast as you use the draft to make speed. We start in the 2nd position for our group so we opted for choice number 1 as the car ahead of us letdown some quick times in practice and felt that was or best option, well not to be. It seems the car ahead of us could not duplicate the practice speeds and held us up for the first few laps and by that time the cars teamed up and starred to pass us putting any chance of us putting up a good qualifying speed. Being that, we ended up qualifying in the 31st starting position.
Yes we were upset, but we know the car is better than where we qualified at so we moved the car in impound too await our raceday tomorrow.
Well the 2018 ARCA series is upon us and the #48 Hylton Motorsports entry driver by our own Brad Smith are looking forward to a highly successful racing season. We took the car down to testing in mid January in order to gain some knowledge of the new composite body, as we had never run it on the high banking of Daytona, as well as to what modifications were necessary in order to have the car race ready according to the ARCA templates upon our return to Daytona in Feb for the running of the Lucas Oil 200. We left the testing session feeling very confident we had a high competitive car and driver pairing for a good finish in the following months race. We did not see the speeds we need, were looking for, but knew with a few modification back a the shop we be ok as Brad felt this was the best car he had ever driven here.
Fast forward to this week. Here we are in Daytona again, this time looking to put our names as winners in the Daytona record books. Must say, these past two days have been long and hard, as they are always here in Daytona, but we are brimming with confidence that we have a great car for this Saturday's race.
Wednesday at 7:30 our hauler pulled into the Daytona infield with high expectations, and we have not been disappointed. Wednesday was a total "tech day", yes tech was hard and nerve racking, as it always is, but what the team learned from their time in Daytona back in Jan, and the know how of our Crew Chief Terry Strange, of course working long and hard back at the shop in between, after rolling the car through engine tech, Elephant stands, templates and finally height sticks we needed only to make a few modifications to the car in order for ARCA to give their thumbs up to call us race ready, better than some years we have been here.
Thursday day was a continuation of "tech day" as well as finally getting to see what all our hard work would get us on the track. Morning started out with us finishing up what we need to correct from tech the day before and fuel cell inspection, when all done back to tech and hope we are ok to race. Well, have to say, all went smooth and the car rolled through with no further work needed to be done on the car, we were cleared for practice later in the day. Finally the time has come, after all work we put into the car, correcting body shape, adding supports, fix roof and window height, camber/caster adjustments, fixing the tailpipe, list goes on and on, we get to see the fruits of our efforts. Brad took the track at about 4PM, for ARCA's 2 hr practice session and we decided to go out on single run for our first time out to see how it handled and we were not disappointed, car ran great, driver was comfortable, not time for tire temps and a few adjustments before trying some "pack" racing. We made our adjustments and sent him back out only to be even more pleased than after the first run. This time Brad went out was able to hook up with about 7 other cars, where at one point Brad and two others had some separation from the other 5, but were able to eventually run down the pack of 5 and run in a pack for quiet a few laps. Brad during this time threw down the 6th fastest lap. Brad was having issue with water temperature and was able to run a half lane down to cool off the car and still was able to keep pace with running comfortably. Brad had even got on the radio and stated he wanted to fall back a bit on order to see if he could "suck up" to the pack and what do you know, success and the ending of a great practice session for the #48 team and Brad Smith. I asked Brad how it felt and he stated it was handling great and other cars around him did not disturb his handling. We finished 29 in practice, only .8 sec off the leader, that is a big positive as to the potential of this car on race day, you do not always have to lay down the fastest lap to win in a restrictor plate race such as this, you need a good driver and a well handling car and when we feel we have both at this time. So another day in Daytona in the books, tomorrow another 1 hr practice session and then qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200
Well another week of ARCA Racing is in the books for the Hylton Racing team. This week as a lot more challenging than others as the team after the Iowa race had an accident early in AM on July 9th right outside of Nashville where the Owner, James Hylton, Car tech, James Hylton Jr, and Crew Chief Terry Strange, went across the median and the Dually and hauler flipped over trapping them inside. Luckily there where some great people in Tennessee who came along as was able to get the out of the rear window unharmed except for some scrapes and bruises. This really put the team behind for this race in Indianapolis, the car they were going to use, "Miss Kitty", was in the hauler and had damage which could not be repaired in time for the race, no hauler nor truck. Thanks to JD Motorsports, who sent a hauler/truck to Tennessee, the team was able to get the car, dually and tools/parts home, trailer was beyond repair. So now down a car, only having one other short track\ intermediate car, "Woody", who needed a work to be ready, the new composite car not ready for racing as of yet, they needed to use the speedway car, "Martina" for this race, not the right car but now they were able to make an the race. Thanks to Empire Racing, who donated a school bus to Hylton Motorsports to haul the race car, but this too was not ready for use in time for the team need to leave for Iowa, steps in JD Motorsports again. They provided a truck and hauler to the team and they left for the race track early Thursday to put the #48 on the track for the race. Getting to this point was not easy, James turning 83 at the end of August, James Jr.(Tweet), Terry, all banged up, along with good friend Greg Burns, worked to ready themselves and the car for this trip. As we know a speedway car and a short track do not mix and braking systems are different, and this was the downfall of the weekend. Brad on Friday went out and qualified 24th for the race, running a smooth cautious lap, but in the race the set-up became an issue. Being this is a short track and they demand a lot of breaking, rotors and brake pads on speedway cars are thinner and the car could not withstand the heat being generated with the constant braking Brad need to do, the brakes became soft and he needed to pit in order to cool them down before return to the track, this lead to a long night for the team and putting them 110 laps down and finishing in 27th place. This did not hurt Brad in the overall standings as he retains the 10th place position but definitely not the night the wanted. This though was a win for the team, the overcame a terrible accident, no car, no hauler/truck, banged up bodies but still made it to the track in order to compete. One thing I will tell you, no matter what, you will never keep James Hytlon away from a race track, and this proves it, this man will always be there and with a smile on his face and greeting his peers, friends and fans, oh and did I mention, ready to race !!
Well last night in Iowa it was Brad's 300th ARCA start. Began the weekend starting in the 21st position and finishing the race 8 laps down in the 18th spot, not the finish they were hoping for on such a momentous occasion, but the this should be enough to maintain his top 10 position in the points standings. 19 years of ARCA racing under his belt and he is currently having two of the best seasons of his career under the Hylton banner. Brad appreciates all the support you give him week in and week out and hopes you stop by to say hello if ever at the track.