DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 12, 2016) – A year ago at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Brett Hudson earned a career-best finish third in the Lucas Oil 200.
The finish brought the feelings, joys and emotions that the historic track is meant to bring, even if was a few positions shy of celebrating in Victory Lane with a showering champagne spray.
Fast forward 12 months later clinging to the emotions of the brisk February day, Hudson and his Brett Hudson Motorsports (BHM) team are praying that history repeats itself.
With an entourage of local support from his native town of Owensboro, Kentucky, Hudson kicked off Speedweeks 2016 ARCA style on Thursdayafternoon with two hours of practice for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
The No. 15 Howard’s Post Frame Buildings / Hudson Machine Shop Dodge Charger was one of the first vehicles to take the green flag to officially kick off the season. With veteran support on the spotters standing from Kevin Huffines and ARCA winning crew chief John Hayden, Hudson quickly proved the team had equal speed from 2015.
Quickly bolting inside the top-10, the team elected to make a few more solid solo and light drafting runs before calling their day complete with Hudson finishing the day 20th quickest overall, well within the safe zone.
“We have a good car,” Hudson said. “That’s not surprising, because we knew coming back to Daytona we would be in good shape. We didn’t want to take the risk of tearing the car up, so we played our strategy and did it well and we’ll focus on Friday’s qualifying session.”
With group qualifying expected to play a crucial role in the starting position for the Owensboro, Kentucky native, Hudson said that partners will be the winning piece of the puzzle.
“We just have to align ourselves correctly, even if it’s not the cars we necessarily wanted to work with, but we’ll take what we have,” Hudson explained. “These Ilmor 396 motors get up to speed pretty quickly compared to the open motors and with little time to qualify compared to last year, it’s important for us to get after it – I’m just hoping it all works out and we can start somewhere in the top-10.”
Unlike last year where BHM was one of the few teams that opted to utilize the new-highly anticipated Ilmor 396 spec engine, the team was able to acquire one in the last couple of weeks and the 28-year-old noticed a different right away.
“It’s amazing what that Ilmor motor can do,” he sounded. “Last year, we knew that we were giving up some to stay with the open motor, but we were hoping that if we worked the draft right and let the race play out, we would be fine. And, we were. But, we also realized that in order to have a better shot at winning – you need to have the Ilmor 396. We have one and for that we’re glad.”
And while a win in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire would be the biggest win of his racing career, Hudson says the triumph would go deeper than that.
“Man, we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve had a lot of support, which has made us like family,” Hudson explained. “It seems year after year, we are fortunate enough to gain more local support. It’s like one big family from Owensboro. It’s a cool thing. And a win at Daytona would be something, everything I’ve wanted to do in my racing career. That’s why we are here.”
Group qualifying was held Friday afternoon with Hudson posting the 27th quickest time overall earning that starting position for the 80-lap event.
In addition to Howard’s Post Frame Buildings and Hudson Machine Shop, Tim Pedley Truck & Trailer Repair Garage, Tommy Fischer, Fischer’s Towing, Mayfield Hodges Collision Repair, Hardy Brake & Electric, DMC Graphics, Jr’s Automotive, Sam Estes Painting, Bobby’s Truck & Trailer and Harley’s Auto Service.
In 32 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts, Hudson has produced four top-fives including a career best of third at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in 2015 and 13 top-10 finishes overall. Hudson has one career ARCA pole coming at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in 2005 driving the No. 62 Hudson Machine Shop Chevrolet.
The Lucas Oil 200 presented by General Tire (80 Laps / 200 Miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The preamble for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ “Sprint Unlimited” is set to take the green flag on Saturday, February 13 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
PHOTO CAPTION: Brett Hudson, driver of the No. 15 Howard’s Post Frame Buildings / Hudson Machine Shop Dodge Charger in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for Brett Hudson Motorsports (BHM).
NAME: Lisa Hudson