NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Bryan Silas may have the weekend off from racing, however, he is taking full advantage of the time to go back to school. The T3R2 racer will be testing almost daily, from a road course in Virginia to a dirt track in New York.
Silas hit the road course at Virginia International Raceway earlier this week in preparation for the Truck Series road course event later in the fall at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“This is actually a fun type of school and is much better than sitting in a school doing paper work,” Silas said. “I’ve been on a couple road courses but most of them have been very flat.”
“I needed some experience on a road course with some elevation and VIR was one of those places that had some of that,” Silas continued. “I need to get that experience because the track we are going to, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, apparently that place is just wild.”
“There are a lot of elevation changes and it’s a road course that thinks it’s a super speedway.”
So, what did the young driver learn on the VIR road course?
“If you are going downhill to a corner, you can’t brake as late as you can going uphill,” Silas said. “This is the stuff I’m learning.”
“And also going into a corner where you can’t see the exit and trusting that, going 110 mph, that you will make it through,” Silas continued. “That was a learning experience.”
“I remember a couple of times there was a straightaway where you went uphill and the downhill and I felt my stomach get light a couple of times,” Silas said. “It just makes it that much more fun.”
During the VIR road course test, Silas rode with the BMW Racing School and was most impressed with the horsepower of those vehicles.
“There were four or five cars in line and I followed one of the BMW instructors,” Silas said. “They would show me where to lift and following the instructor who has done a million laps around the place was definitely a good learning experience.”
After some wild road course testing, Silas will head to New York later in the week to do some dirt track testing, all in preparation for the upcoming Inaugural Mudsummer Classic set for July 24th at Tony Stewart’s track, Eldora Speedway.
The 25 year old racer will be the guest of four-time dirt champion Bryan Holland for this test. Silas will also experience the racing hands-on by working with the crew and then having his own private test session following that.
“I have a total of four races under my belt on dirt, all in ARCA,” Silas said. “My dad is telling me that he thinks there will be 50 trucks showing up for the Eldora race.”
“So, I have to get some dirt experience before I go there and make a fool of myself,” Silas joked. “So, I’m going to some track in New York and jumping into a late model the day after the race there to turn a bunch of laps.”
“There will be a couple people there helping me get ready for Eldora,” Silas said. “I think my biggest challenge there will be trying to figure out the best line to get around the place.”
“The issue will be learning how the track will change during that race.”
Silas feels that his whole racing season to date in 2013 has been all about learning. Unfortunately, the racing gods have not been with Silas in his student phase.
“Overall, I’ve learned a lot from last year and I’ve been able to use that this year,” Silas said. “Not only have the cars gotten better but I’ve gotten better with these Trucks.”
“We’ve just had crappy luck,” Silas continued. “Daytona, we got wrecked out. Martinsville, we ended up blowing a drive shaft.”
“And in Kansas, we were going to get a top 17 easy and we got caught in the wreck with Todd Bodine,” Silas said. “Our vehicles are heading in the right direction but we need to catch a little bit of luck and then we’ll be alright for Charlotte.”
For Silas, though, his season really is all about learning and he is most eager to do so. But the best way to learn in his mind is to be there on the race track as much as possible.
“I know I still have a lot to learn, but I’m eager,” Silas said. “I’d rather be on the race track.”
“At this point in my career, I need as much testing as possible because I can learn so much,” Silas continued. “You look at the Cup racers and they are on track every week or if they do have an off week, they are racing somewhere else.”
“So, it’s really hard to catch up, but I plan to,” Silas continued. “And I just have to keep learning and going to school.”