Joe Graf Jr. Circuit City 250 Event Preview

Event | Date: Circuit City 250 Presented by Tamron – Sunday, June 16

Venue: Iowa Speedway – Newton, Iowa

Joe Graf Jr., No. 21 Eat Sleep Race Chevrolet Camaro

Race Notes and Quotes:

Joe Graf Jr. and the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet Camaro at Iowa Speedway …  Joe Graf Jr. is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Iowa Speedway this weekend. He has one previous ARCA Menards Series start at the track, finishing fifth there in 2018.

About EAT SLEEP RACE …  EAT SLEEP RACE (eatsleeprace.com) is a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of New Jersey.  Since 2001 the brand has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts. The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with its hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.

Meet RCR’s Latest Intern … In addition to driving for Richard Childress Racing, Graf Jr. is interning with the team’s marketing and communications staff this summer to learn the business side of the sport. The dual role will help the New York University freshman grow as a driver on both the competition and front office ends of racing.

Meet Graf … Graf Jr. is scheduled to take part in the Xfinity Series autograph session beginning at 11:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, June 16 under the Turn 4 grandstands.

JOE GRAF JR. QUOTE:

What are your thoughts headed to Iowa Speedway for the first time in the Xfinity Series with RCR?

“I’m looking forward to Iowa Speedway this weekend. It’s one of my favorite tracks to race since you can race top to bottom. There’s not just one groove. I’m hoping that my past experience in an ARCA car will give me a jumpstart in the Xfinity car, and we can have a productive weekend and get some redemption from my mistake in Michigan qualifying last Saturday. I really can’t thank Richard Childress Racing and EAT SLEEP RACE enough for the opportunity.”

Busy weekend for Joe Graf Jr. starts with Madison ARCA return

MADISON, Wisc. – On the heels of his first top-five finish of the year last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team trek to Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway for some good ole’ short track racing in Friday night’s Shore Lunch 200.

Appearing to be back on track after a two-race slide at Toledo Speedway and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway respectively, Graf Jr. and his Chad Bryant led No. 77 team reach the halfway point of the 2019 season and look to put the pedal to the metal as the summer tour ramps up.

“After a few speedways, short track racing is a nice relief this weekend,” said Joe Graf Jr. who sits fifth in the championship standings after nine races. “Last weekend’s fourth-place finish was really good for our team – but we played some strategy and it worked out for us.

“We still have some work to do – and hopefully the hard work that everyone is putting in at Chad Bryant Racing will continue to be front and center Friday night at Madison.”

It’s a busy week for Graf Jr.

On the way to Madison, Graf Jr. and his Chad Bryant Racing participated in a private test at World Wide Technology Speedway (Gateway) to prepare for the upcoming ARCA race at the 1.25-mile track. And from Madison, Graf Jr. will make the nearly four-hour trip to Iowa Speedway to participate in Sunday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race for Richard Childress Racing.

“It’s another busy weekend, but at least I’ll be in the race car a lot and that’s not always a bad thing,” explained Graf who finished 12th at Madison last season. “We really need to have a good run in the ARCA car and hopefully things will go better in the NASCAR Xfinity Series side too and I can have a productive weekend all the way around.”

For the 10th straight race, EAT SLEEP RACE, a racing lifestyle apparel company headquartered in New Jersey returns as the primary sponsor of Graf Jr.’s No. 77 Ford Fusion for the 100-mile race.

Since 2001, EAT SLEEP RACE has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to get the EAT SLEEP RACE name out there in a short amount of time,” added Graf. “I’m really happy to be representing them as their brand really fits my lifestyle.

“It won’t be long before we have some new apparel available and I think everyone is really going to like it. This weekend is another chance at double-dose of exposure for them with EAT SLEEP RACE being on the Xfinity car too and I think will introduce their brand into a much broader audience being a part of NASCAR.”

As for Iowa, Graf said, “I’m looking forward to Iowa Speedway this weekend. It’s one of my favorite tracks to race, you can race top to bottom, there’s not just one groove.

I’m hoping that my past experience in an ARCA car will give me a jumpstart in the Xfinity car and we can have a productive weekend and get some redemption from my mistake in Michigan qualifying last Saturday.

“Can’t thank Richard Childress Racing and EAT SLEEP RACE enough for the opportunity.”

ARCA team owner and crew chief Chad Bryant says he is seeing calmness and focus out of his sophomore ARCA driver and he hopes his determination will lead to on-track success.

“Joe did a nice job last weekend at Michigan and that has the entire No. 77 team upbeat about Madison this weekend,” said Bryant. “When it comes to short track racing, Joe isn’t afraid to apply the pressure and use the fenders to make his way through the field.

“Madison – typically can be a track position race, so we’ll have to see how the race pans out, but I feel pretty good about the No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford we’re bringing to the track this weekend. It would be awesome to get Joe back in Victory Lane.”

Entering Madison, Graf has one win, seven top-five and 13 top-10s in 28 career ARCA Menards Series starts in two seasons of competition. A fourth-place qualifying effort at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2018 is his best time trials effort to date.

For more on Joe Graf Jr., please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

The Shore Lunch 200 (200 laps | 100 miles) is the 10th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 14 with an hour and a 45-minute practice session from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Central).

About EAT SLEEP RACE:

EAT SLEEP RACE (eatsleeprace.com) is a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of New Jersey.  Since 2001 the brand has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with it’s hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.

Big weekend ahead for Joe Graf Jr. in Michigan’s Irish Hills

BROOKLYN, Mich. – After earning his fourth top-10 finish of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series (AMS) season last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) treks to Michigan International Speedway for Friday evening’s VizCom 200 hoping to kick-off a busy weekend with his first top-five of the year.

In addition to the ARCA Menards Series race, Graf Jr. will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, driving the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

With plenty of track time scheduled for the 20-year-old Graf Jr., the ARCA championship contender is upbeat about his chances in both the Xfinity and ARCA cars.

“I’m very excited about Michigan this weekend,” said Graf Jr. “It’s been an incredibly busy week with preparation, testing and then getting to Michigan. I’m incredibly focused and look forward to the chance to have my strongest results of the year.”

Graf Jr. returns to Michigan after earning a top-five at the two-mile oval last June. Not only is Graf hoping his experience in the Irish Hills from a year ago will pay dividends, but he’s also relying on the extra seat time of Xfinity Series practice on Friday to be a benefit to him hours before climbing aboard his Chad Bryant Racing automobile for his second Michigan ARCA start.

“I’ve heard from a lot of drivers how extra seat time can’t hurt,” added Graf. “I’m taking that same mentality. I know that both teams are bringing me fast race cars and it’s up to me to climb in and get the job done.

“Michigan is a pretty wide track, but you need to have good momentum in the turns especially to make your moves on the straightaways. Fuel-mileage and handling always seem to come into play too and that can make Michigan a thrilling race. We need to finish inside the top-five on Friday, it will be a good day and somewhere near the top-10 on Saturday, the double-duty weekend will be a success.”

For the ninth straight race, EAT SLEEP RACE, a racing lifestyle apparel company headquartered in New Jersey returns as the primary sponsor of Graf Jr.’s No. 77 Ford Fusion for the 200-mile race.

Since 2001, EAT SLEEP RACE has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to get the EAT SLEEP RACE name out there in a short amount of time,” added Graf. “I’m really happy to be representing them as their brand really fits my lifestyle.

“It’s a double-dose of exposure for them with EAT SLEEP RACE being on the Xfinity car too and I think will introduce their brand into a much broader audience being a part of NASCAR.”

Team owner and crew chief Chad Bryant says he is seeing calmness and focus out of his sophomore ARCA driver and he hopes his determination will lead to on-track success.

“Even though we came out of Pocono with a top-10, we weren’t satisfied,” added Bryant. “We know that we’re capable of putting our cars inside the top-five and contending for race wins. Joe is coming back to a track where he had success at in his rookie season and I’m hopeful we can pick up where we left off.

“It’s important for us to remember there’s still a lot of racing left and opportunity to put our No. 77 team front and center where we feel like we belong and our chance at Victory Lane. There’s no quit in our race team, I promise you that.”

For this weekend at Michigan, Graf will carry the in-car camera myFace logos for his 28th career ARCA start. myFace is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with craniofacial conditions.

Every hour a child is born in the United States with a craniofacial difference, which uniquely impacts both the body and spirit. In the U.S. approximately 600,000 individuals have been diagnosed with a craniofacial condition.

For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

The VizCom 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the ninth of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 7 with an hour and a half practice session from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 12:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Eastern).

About EAT SLEEP RACE:

EAT SLEEP RACE (eatsleeprace.com) is a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of New Jersey.  Since 2001 the brand has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with it’s hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.

Joe Graf Look for First Win at Michigan to Get ARCA Championship Train Rolling

Last season’s ARCA Menards Series visit to the Irish Hills of Michigan brought nothing but smiling eyes for Sheldon Creed. Winless through his first 24 series appearances, Creed finally put it all together, leading 65 of the race’s 100 laps to earn his first career series victory. Not only did it break a winless streak, it also launched him onto a path that culminated with the 2018 series championship.

Creed’s win seems like it came deep in the season for an eventual series champion. After all, it was the eighth race of the 20-race season meaning the year was nearly half over before Creed scored his first win of the year.

But Creed’s win in the eighth race of the year isn’t the only time in recent memory that the series champion didn’t find his way to victory until mid season. Chase Briscoe, who was the 2016 ARCA Menards Series champion, also waited until the midway point of his championship season before tallying his first win of the year at Winchester Speedway.

Two drivers currently in the hunt for the ARCA Menards Series championship are looking to follow in Briscoe and Creed’s footsteps. Munford, Alabama’s Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) moved into second in the series standings following the race at Charlotte, a race in which he put himself in position to win late in the race before he crossed the line in eighth. He followed it with his second top-five finish of the season, a fifth-place effort last Friday at Pocono Raceway. He now sits just thirty points behind championship leader Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota).

Holmes will be making his 50th career start in the Michigan 200 and it’s a race he believes he can use to not only get his first win but position himself to fight for the series championship.

“One of our main goals for the rest of this season is to be consistent and finish within the top five every week, I feel like we’re achieving that goal right now,” said Holmes. “We’re still a fairly new team, so there’s always things we can work on to be better. If we can continue to be consistent, I know we will have a chance at the championship. I’m confident we’ll be there at the end of the season, hopefully with a trophy in hand. I’m excited for Michigan (International Speedway). Shane (Huffman, crew chief) has a great track record there. He feels it’s one of his strongest tracks. I feel like we’re going to have a really solid day with all of Shane’s knowledge of the track and his history there. I know I have a few things to work on as far as getting a handle on the track, but Shane will be there to coach me through it.

Holmes has a lot of experience in his corner that could propel him to that heretofore elusive first career series win. Crew chief Shane Huffman led two MDM Motorsports teammates to victory, Brandon Jones at Charlotte and Harrison Burton at Pocono. Huffman has also won races as a crew chief in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. A former driver in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, he and Holmes have quickly found a common language that has improved the team’s performance and results over 2018 dramatically.

“Shane and I sit down after every race and talk through what we need to work on to be a better team,” said Holmes. “Our communication as a whole has really improved since the beginning of the season. It’s not something you can work at until you’re at the track and racing. Shane brings a lot of experience as a crew chief and driver to our team. He’s helped me develop as a driver over the past few months, and it shows in our finishes. I feel like the (No.) 23 crew is in a really good place right now. I have no doubt in Shane and our crew with everything that they’re bringing to the table. They’ve all been a huge key to our team that we’ve been lacking the last two years.”

Holmes isn’t the only championship contender looking to use a mid-season win to ignite a title run.

Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) earned his first career ARCA Menards Series win about 90 miles west of Michigan International Speedway last August in a fender-banging duel with Zane Smith. His Chad Bryant Racing team found its way to victory the last two races at Charlotte at Pocono with Ty Majeski behind the wheel and Graf would like to use that momentum to propel him to his second career win and to get back in the championship fight. He’s currently fifth in the standings, 135 points out of the lead.

“The last time I was in Michigan, I ended up in Victory Lane, hopefully we can do it again,” he laughed. “No, seriously, I realize that Michigan International Speedway is a monster compared to Berlin Raceway, but that’s fine with me. I’m just thankful for the opportunity to come back to Michigan and the opportunity to get back in Victory Lane.

“Last week’s finish was okay, but we’re looking for more. A lot more. I have a good feeling about Friday’s race and hopefully will give us the finish we need to get some momentum and consistency on our side.”

With just eleven races remaining to get back into battle for the championship, Graf knows time is running short. But he also knows wins mean you’ve scored maximum points and that’s the best way to get back into title contention.

“At this point, we’re going for win,” added Graf. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you see our Chad Bryant Racing team throw some strategy calls out there to get us some track position and an opportunity to get ourselves a win or two. For us, we know that if we can win races – or even finish in the top-five then the points will take care of themselves and hopefully give us an opportunity to get back into this championship fight.”

Graf will be doing double duty over the course of the weekend at Michigan as he will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut driving for Richard Childress Racing on Saturday.

Practice for the VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway is slated for 8 am ET on Friday, June 7, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 12 noon, with the 100-lap, 200-mile race slated to go green shortly after 6 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. For ticket information log on to MISpeedway.com or call 888-905-7223.

Pocono (Pa.) Raceway | General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: Sixth
Finish: Eighth; Running (78 | 80 laps completed)
Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “I am very frustrated.  We really struggled with the balance of the car.  We tried something new at the test and it didn’t really bear fruit, so we decided to switch back to setup we had last year.  But with the limited practice time due to rain today, we just couldn’t get the car “dialed in” the way we would have liked.

“This has been a season of challenges. Between freak part failures, rain shortened practice sessions, and even plastic bags, it has been a surreal year so. When I see all the time and effort we are putting into this program I just couldn’t imagine these would be the results.

“These results would discourage the best of us.  This experience doesn’t feel good. But I will tell you what I have learned.  Mental toughness.  When I debrief with Chad (Bryant, team owner and crew chief) and Todd (Myers, car chief) I am impressed with their mental toughness and their process on problem solving.  There is no quitting attitude though.

“We remain focused on fielding the best car possible. We expect that engines won’t fail, transmissions won’t fail, and people pick up their trash.  A little help from Mother Nature would be nice too. The rest is up to us.

“Today’s result sucked.  But I really enjoyed seeing all the Joe Graf Jr and Chad Bryant Racing fans that made it out to Pocono.  It was really amazing.   I also enjoyed hanging around with the Eat Sleep Race models.  That was pretty easy to get used to.  I can’t thank EAT SLEEP RACE enough for coming out, all the family and friends that were here and the fans in the stands. I appreciate their support.

“I’m looking forward to going to Michigan International Speedway next weekend to make my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with Richard Childress Racing. EAT SLEEP RACE will be on the car. Be sure to tune in on Saturday on FS1.”

ARCA Next Up: VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Fri., June 7, 2019.

For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

About EAT SLEEP RACE:

EAT SLEEP RACE (eatsleeprace.com) is a racing lifestyle apparel company based out of New Jersey.  Since 2001 the brand has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies.  As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with it’s hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.