Joe Graf Jr. set for fourth start at historic Salem Speedway

SALEM, Ind.: With just three races remaining in the ARCA Menards Series season, Joe Graf Jr. (@JoeGrafJr) and his Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team are focused on going out on a high note continuing with Saturday night’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at the historic Salem (Ind.) Speedway.

21-year-old Graf Jr. will make his fourth start at the legendary Southern Indiana short track but hopes to deliver his first top-five at the treacherous short track under the lights on Sept. 14.

“It feels good getting back to short track racing,” said Graf Jr. who sits fifth in the ARCA championship standings. “I genuinely like Salem Speedway, but it’s a not an easy track to negotiate. It’s a track that takes a lot of concentration and focus.

“I keep getting better and better with every race on Salem, but I’d like to leave there on Saturday night with our best finish of the season.”

Carrying an average finish of 10th this season, Graf Jr. has certainly surpassed his top-10 statistics from his rookie ARCA season, but Graf Jr. says his season won’t be complete if he can’t launch his Chad Bryant Racing team back into Victory Lane.

Last summer, Graf Jr. earned his first career victory on a short track at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway.

“I want to win so bad,” added Graf. “That’s why I get behind the wheel of our race car every week. I need to win for a lot of reasons. I have a great partner in EAT SLEEP RACE who has stuck through our team through the bumps in the road this season and my guys at the Chad Bryant Racing team who have given everything they can to bring me the fastest race car possible.

“It goes without saying that the season hasn’t gone as we hoped. It hasn’t been a horrific season by any means, but I think it’s fair to say that the goals and expectations that we set to accomplish back in February haven’t come to fruition. We still have three races to make the best of it and we will.”

To help Graf contend for his second career ARCA win, his Chad Bryant Racing team recently tested at the 0.533-mile short track where the Mooresville, N.C.-based team spent the day focusing on qualifying and race runs. Satisfied with the test, Graf Jr. is eager to return for race weekend.

“We made some strides during the test,” added Graf. “I know my crew chief Chad (Bryant) is going to make a few tweaks from the test and hopefully we come back even faster than we were at the test.

“For us, I need to make sure I’m saving my tires as much as I can and we keep us with the balance of our race car as the race transition from day to night. It’s going to be a fast-paced race, so we just need to make sure we’re able to pounce when it counts.”

For the 18th 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 for the 200-lap race.

“We just launched some really cool hats with EAT SLEEP RACE, so I encourage everyone to check them out,” sounded Graf Jr. “It’s been great to see EAT SLEEP RACE get all kinds of exposure this season. Fall is here and EAT SLEEP RACE has some cool items. I hope everyone checks them out.”

While juggling racing in ARCA and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Graf Jr. has also returned to New York where he’ll continue his college education at New York University where he is beginning his sophomore year pursuing a degree in business, media and sports management.

“It’s going to be a busy fall, but I embrace it,” added Graf Jr. “I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to be a student at NYU while also following my dreams of being a professional race car driver.

“My internship at Richard Childress Racing earlier this year allowed me to learn so much that I plan to use that knowledge to the best of my ability and apply it to my everyday college life at NYU.”

Entering Salem, Graf Jr. has 36 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with one win (Berlin (Mich. Raceway, 2018), seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes to his credit. After 17 races, he stands fifth in the championship standings with three races remaining.

In addition to his ARCA Menards Series presence, Graf Jr. has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Richard Childress Racing. He’ll compete in at least one more race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway respectively on Fri. Sept. 20, 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.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic (200 laps | 111 miles) is the 18th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat. Sep. 14 with an hour practice session planned from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for shortly thereafter at 4:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 7:00 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 (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.

DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds | Southern Illinois 100 Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: 13th
Finish: 11th; Running; (99 | 100 laps completed) 

Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “We were okay. We were making some strides but then got penalized on a restart and had to serve a pass-thru under green (flag conditions).

“We were hoping to get a caution that would keep us on the lead lap or allow us to get the free pass, but it never came and we had to settle for 11th.

“Just three races left at Salem, Indianapolis and Kansas and those races present the opportunity for us to have some good finishes for EAT SLEEP RACE and try to end the year on a high note.”

Next Up: Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway on Sat., Sept. 14, live on MAVTV at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern).

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

Joe Graf Jr. hopes to shine under the lights in DuQuoin

DUQUOIN, Ill: With a breather in the ARCA Menards Series schedule, Joe Graf Jr. and his No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE racing team saddle up again for a return to the dirt in Saturday night’s Southern Illinois 100 at the historic Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

Earlier this month, Graf Jr. showcased speed on the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and had hoped to capitalize on a strong sixth-place qualifying effort. However, a late race spin in the race left little opportunity in the closing laps for a rebound leaving Graf Jr. to solider on for a 10th place finish in his third career dirt track ARCA start.

This weekend, Graf Jr. is feeling refreshed and ready to get back to business and catapult his Chad Bryant Racing team into the top-five under the Du Quoin lights.

“I feel like we got robbed a little bit at Springfield,” said Graf Jr. who sits fifth in the ARCA Menards Series standings. “We had a decent day, made some strides, but just had some misfortunate that kept us from a better day.”

Even though Graf Jr. earned his 10 top-10 finish of the season at Springfield, Graf Jr. nor his team led by championship crew chief Chad Bryant aren’t satisfied. Looking for his second career ARCA Menards Series win, Graf Jr., 21, is determined to put himself in contention before the season concludes in mid-October.

“We’re a better team than what we’ve shown,” added Graf. “It hasn’t come from the lack of effort, but we’re determined to make the best of the remaining races and hope we can add a couple top-fives and maybe even a win by Kansas in October.”

But before Graf Jr. can focus on getting back to the norm of asphalt racing, 100 laps on the dirt under the lights in Du Quoin stand in front of his No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE team with the Mooresville, N.C.-based team and driver ready to execute.

“I’m ready to get after it,” Graf added. “Night racing on the dirt should be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a little different and we’re going to have to make sure we keep up with the adjustments from practice and qualifying but once that green flag drops, it’s go time and I’m going to do everything I can to get our No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion up front and stay there.”

For the 17th 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 for the 100-lap race.

“We just launched some really cool hats with EAT SLEEP RACE, so I encourage everyone to check them out,” sounded Graf Jr. “It’s been great to see EAT SLEEP RACE get all kinds of exposure this season. Fall is on the horizon and EAT SLEEP RACE will have some great items available then too.”

While juggling racing in ARCA and the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Graf Jr. has also returned to New York where he’ll continue his college education at New York University where he is beginning his sophomore year pursuing a degree in business, media and sports management.

“It’s going to be a busy fall, but I embrace it,” added Graf Jr. “I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to be a student at NYU while also following my dreams of being a professional race car driver.

“My internship at Richard Childress Racing earlier this year allowed me to learn so much that I plan to use that knowledge to the best of my ability and apply it to my everyday college life at NYU.”

Entering Du Quoin, Graf Jr. has 35 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with one win (Berlin (Mich. Raceway, 2018), seven top-five and 18 top-10 finishes to his credit. After 16 races, he stands fifth in the championship standings with four races remaining.

In addition to his ARCA Menards Series presence, Graf Jr. has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Richard Childress Racing. He’ll compete in at least one more race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway respectively on Fri. Sept. 20, 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.

The Southern Illinois 100 (100 laps | 100 miles) is the 17th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat. Aug. 31 with an hour practice session planned from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for shortly thereafter at 5:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag 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).

Illinois State Fairgrounds | Allen Crowe 100 Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: Sixth
Finish: 10th; Running; (100 | 102 laps completed)
Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “It was an okay race for us. We had a good qualifying effort and we were able to maintain our track position during the early stages of the race, but after the rain came the track conditions changed and we didn’t seem to have the grip we needed.

“I can’t thank EAT SLEEP RACE enough for their support and hope we can make some gains at DuQuoin in a couple weeks.”

Next Up: Southern Illinois 100 at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Sat., Aug. 31, live on MAVTV at 8:00 p.m. (Central).

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

Triple duty weekend ends on the dirt at Springfield for Joe Graf Jr.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – One of the busiest weekends of Joe Graf Jr.’s 2019 racing season will conclude with Sunday afternoon’s Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds aboard Chad Bryant Racing’s No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion.

Graf Jr. will trek from Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway where he’ll partake in a double-dose of action in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Thursday night – while making his third career NASCAR Xfinity Series start on Friday night in the Food City 300.

While Bristol provides an opportunity to gather laps and gain experience in the NASCAR world, once Friday night is behind the 21-year-old drive, he’ll seek his second career ARCA Menards Series win in the first of two dirt races this season.

“Yeah, it’s going to be a busy couple days, but I’m excited about that and can’t wait,” said Joe Graf Jr. “A lot of people including Chad Bryant Racing have put a lot of effort into making Bristol and Springfield possible and without everyone’s support, I know this triple-duty weekend wouldn’t be possible.”

After a two-week break from ARCA competition where Graf Jr. earned his ninth top-10 finish of the season at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, the sophomore ARCA Menards Series driver invades the Illinois State Fairgrounds hunting his second top-five finish of the year.

“It goes without saying, I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to run top-five or contend for as many wins as I would have liked to this season,” added Graf Jr. “There’s still some time for us to do that though. Chad (Bryant) wants it. I want it more; I just hope that we can have a smooth day on Sunday and give us a head start on DuQuoin in a couple weeks.”

Graf will make his third ARCA start on the dirt this weekend. Last year in his Springfield debut, he started sixth but found himself entangled in a late-race caution.

Fast forward 12 months later, Graf Jr. is hoping to take what he learned from Springfield and DuQuoin combined and lead Chad Bryant Racing to their fourth win of 2019.

“The dirt is a lot of fun,” sounded Graf Jr. “Momentum and throttle are critical for mastering places like Springfield and DuQuoin. I learned a lot about tire conservation last year too.

“The biggest obstacle is doing all you can to avoid spinning out, but I’m a lot more optimistic about Springfield than I was last year, and I hope I’m able to show that with our finish on Sunday.”

With the end of the season a little more than two months away, Graf Jr. realizes that the championship is a far stretch, but says winning is not.

“It’s a top priority to win before the end of the season,” he said. “These guys on the No. 77 team deserve it and so does EAT SLEEP RACE and all of our other partners. They have worked relentlessly this season and a win or two would be really cool.”

For the 16th 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 for the 100-lap race.

“We just launched some really cool hats with EAT SLEEP RACE, so I encourage everyone to check them out,” sounded Graf Jr. “It’s been great to see EAT SLEEP RACE get involved as they have with the stock car side of things and with them on the Xfinity car and the ARCA car, it would be great to cap off the weekend with our strongest finish of the year.”

Entering Springfield, Graf Jr. has 34 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with one win (Berlin (Mich. Raceway, 2018), seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes to his credit. After 15 races, he stands fifth in the championship standings with five races remaining.

In addition to his ARCA Menards Series presence, Graf Jr. has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Richard Childress Racing. He’ll compete in at least two more events at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (Aug. 16) and Richmond (Va.) Raceway respectively.
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 Allen Crowe 100 presented by Lucas Oil (100 laps | 100 miles) is the 16th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sun., Aug. 18 with an hour practice session planned from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for shortly thereafter at 11:00 a.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 1:40 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.