Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Second Place Finish In Inaugural Jr Late Model For Silliker

From Team Silco Media/Blakesley Sports Media

LEMOORE, CALIFORNIA (March 15, 2016) – Team Silco Racing development driver and Alberta Canada native Ben Silliker finished second in the debut of the Jr. Late Model Series at Madera Speedway on Saturday night. Silliker was making his asphalt full sized stock car debut one month after his 11th birthday and had to come from behind for the runner-up finish.

Saturday was the first ever event in the world for full size Late Models with drivers ages 10-16, with a field from all over North America. MAVTV will air all eight races of the series with the first race tentatively to air in May.

The weekend was marked by a series of unknowns for the busy and accomplished young racer who has made a name for himself in dirt Outlaw Karts and Micro Sprints. Silliker is fortunate enough to have Grant Edwards of Evolution Race Cars serving as crew chief to help get up to speed. After only three days of testing, race day arrived on Saturday night.

Silliker was second quickest in the first practice session before moving to the top of the board in the second set. Qualifying saw Silliker time in second fastest with a 15.616 second lap on the one-third mile asphalt oval. Despite it being his series debut and with a restrictor plate, the lap would have been good enough for ninth out of the 22 adult Open Late Models that also raced Saturday.

13 cars took the green for the 50 lap feature that was spread across two 25 lap segments. After an incident at the start of the race, Silliker came from the back and used an extended green flag run late in the segment to advance to fourth. He was spun out coming to the line and had to go to work again from the rear after the halfway break.

The team made adjustments to try to loosen up the car and Silliker started making his way to the front. An approximately ten lap green flag run marked the ending stages of the race, where Silliker had good racing with both Dezel West and Ryan Vargas. Silliker moved past Vargas and found his way to second at the finish of the race.

It was a big night for Silliker and his sponsors with Evolution Race Cars, Micro Blue Bearings, and Hamblin Motorsports represented along with product sponsors CSI Shocks, Vahlco Wheels, and Motion Media. Silliker ran a Breast Cancer ribbon on the hood for this round but has hood space available for the second race on April 30th.

Silliker will now turn his attention back to the dirt where he will compete on Thursday at Delta and Saturday at Lemoore in both tracks' Micro Sprint openers. Silliker races in the Restricted 600 division with speeds up to 80 miles per hour on 1/7th and 1/8th mile tracks. Thursday's races will be broadcast on FastFourMedia.org for those that cannot attend.

His early dirt results this year have seen nine starts, a win, and five top-five finishes. More information on Team Silco Racing can be found at www.TeamSilco.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Team Silco Racing is presented by Hamblin Motorsports, Micro Blue Bearings, Evolution Racing Products, Blakesley Sports Media, CSI Shocks, Vahlco Wheels, and Motion Media Wraps.