Joe Graf Jr. confident ahead of penultimate ARCA event in Indianapolis

MOORESVILLE, N.C.: Sophomore ARCA Menards Series driver Joe Graf Jr. (@JoeGrafJr) certainly seems to have momentum on his side ahead of next Saturday night’s Herr’s Potato Chips 200 from Lucas Oil Raceway.

Following a top-six finish with Chad Bryant Racing at Salem (Ind.) Speedway on Sept. 14, Graf Jr. turned his attention back towards the NASCAR Xfinity Series for his third and final planned start of the season at Richmond (Va.) Raceway for Richard Childress Racing aboard the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet Camaro.

There’s no hiding behind that the transition from ARCA to NASCAR has had some forks in the road for the 21-year-old driver this year, but Graf Jr.’s performance at Richmond showcased how quickly those bumps are behind him.

Despite working with a new crew chief, the Andy Street-led team worked methodically to get a good balance on his race car during a 90-minute practice session.  Following the morning session, the team felt confident about qualifying and the race.

During his two laps of qualifying in the afternoon, Graf Jr. picked up considerable speed between the lap one to lap two. When all said and done, he qualified 16th on the grid, his second-best qualifying effort this season. In July, he qualified sixth at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

When the green flag waved for the Go Bowling 250, Graf Jr. was super consistent. Remaining on the lead lap and in the clutches of his RCR team and championship contender Tyler Reddick, Graf hovered around the top-15 all night and when the checkered flag was thrown, he was credited with a career-best 14th place effort.

“I’m really proud of my Richard Childress Racing team,” said Graf Jr. “Andy and the guys worked hard on the car all day and we made tremendous gains during the race, especially as the track continued to change from daylight to darkness. I had some contact with John Hunter Nemechek there coming to the checkered flag, but I was racing for the best finish possible for my team and partner EAT SLEEP RACE.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to compete for RCR this season. I learned so much and plan to use what I learned towards my future racing endeavors.”

Carrying the energy of a strong finish, Graf Jr. attended a family wedding over the weekend in Florida and then flew to Indianapolis on Monday where he participated in a private test with his Chad Bryant Racing team at Lucas Oil in preparation for the final short track race of the season on Sat., Oct. 5.

“I felt like the test was productive,” added Graf Jr. “We worked a lot on the handling of the race car and make some good gains throughout the day. I know Chad (Bryant, crew chief and owner) will continue to work on the car between now and next week to get our No. 22 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion ready for competition.

“I know we haven’t had the season that we had hoped for – but we have two more chances to get into Victory Lane and that’s my focus.”

Between race cars, Graf Jr. has equally been busy in the books with his second fall semester at New York University (NYU) underway where he is pursuing a degree in business, media and sports management.

“It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I’ve been able to manage my time pretty good,” added Graf Jr. “School is super important but so is doing the best job I can behind the wheel for my team and partners. I’m looking forward to going to Lucas Oil next week and having an opportunity to contend for my second ARCA victory.”

Entering Lucas Oil Raceway, Graf Jr. has 37 ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit with one win (Berlin (Mich. Raceway, 2018), seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes to his credit. After 18 races, he stands fifth in the championship standings with two races remaining.

In addition to his ARCA Menards Series presence, Graf Jr. made three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Richard Childress Racing this season earning a career-best 14th place finish at Richmond (Va.) Raceway aboard the No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet Camaro.

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 Herr’s Potato Chips (200 laps | 137 miles) is the 19th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat. Oct. 5 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for shortly thereafter at 5:00 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 (Eastern).

Richmond Raceway | Go Bowling 250 Race Recap

Team: No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet Camaro
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow Joe: @JoeGrafJr
Start: 16th
Finish: 14th; Running; (249 | 250 laps completed)

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “Tonight was a really fun race, and I think I learned a lot and made big improvements from my first few races this season. Our No. 21 EAT SLEEP RACE team did a great job all night and we were able to stay consistent throughout the race. I’m really proud we were able to run in the top 15 for the majority of the night and come out with a 14th place finish. I’ve learned more this year than my entire racing career combined, and I can’t thank everyone at Richard Childress Racing and EAT SLEEP RACE enough for this opportunity.”

Next Up: ARCA Indy 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) on Sat., Oct. 5, 2019, live on MAVTV at 8:00 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 Richmond Raceway Event Preview

Joe Graf Jr. — No. 21 Eat Sleep Race Camaro — Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date: GoBowling 250 – Friday, September 20, 2019
Venue: Richmond Raceway – Richmond, Virginia

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 Richmond Raceway …  This will be Joe Graf Jr.’s debut start at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

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 wrapping up an internship 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.

JOE GRAF JR. QUOTES:

Given that this will be your first start at Richmond Raceway, how have you been preparing for it? there other tracks that can help you prepare for it?

“I’m definitely excited to go to Richmond. I’ve been told that Richmond has similar characteristics to Iowa Speedway, and I’ve now had three races at Iowa. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator and studied a lot of in car camera film from prior races. I hope all of my pre-race preparation will pay off with a solid run on Friday night.” 

With this being your final race with RCR this season, what have you learned during the year from the team?

“I’ve learned so much this year. I’ve learned a lot about the race cars, engineering, marketing, public relations and so on.  I’m very appreciative to have experienced it all first-hand and work with a lot of talented people.

“To be able to intern and compete for Richard Childress Racing this season has been a dream come true. RCR truly is a family and everyone there has treated me like family and I really appreciate that. I’m so excited for Richmond this weekend, and look forward to working for a strong run in our last scheduled race of the season.”

Salem (Ind.) Speedway | Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: 10th
Finish: Sixth; Running; (200 | 200 laps completed)
Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “We fought hard all race long and I’m proud of the Chad Bryant Racing team. We got ourselves inside the top-five but unfortunately we just couldn’t keep the car balanced enough during the second half to maintain our spot.

“Still, a sixth-place finish is solid for us and some momentum to build towards the last two races of the season. Thanks to everyone, including EAT SLEEP RACE for their ongoing support.”

Next Up: ARCA Indy 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) on Sat., Oct. 5, 2019, live on MAVTV at 8:00 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. 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.