INDIANAPOLIS, Ind: With a productive ARCA Menards Series test in the books, sophomore driver Joe Graf Jr (@JoeGrafJr) returns to Lucas Oil Raceway for Saturday’s Herr’s Potato Chips 200 confident he can earn his second career victory for Chad Bryant Racing in the penultimate race of the 2019 season.
Carrying the confidence of a solid top-15 NASCAR Xfinity Series effort at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Graf Jr. is focused on making the most of the final two ARCA races of the year for not only his Chad Bryant led team, but his partner EAT SLEEP RACE too.
“It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks, but you never complain about getting back in a race car,” said Graf Jr.
“We had a pretty good test a couple of weeks ago at Lucas Oil and even know that we had a little work to do, I think Chad and the guys went back to the shop, worked on the car a little more and are coming back optimistic.
“Hopefully, all the dots connect and we’re in a good spot to contend for the win.”
Eyeing his 12th top-10 finish of the season, the 21-year-old driver is eager to build on his prior performance at Lucas Oil last fall where he started and finished 13th.
“Lucas Oil isn’t your typical short track, you really need to hustle the car,” added Graf. “It’s a relatively flat surface, but tire wear is so important which makes track position crucial. I think we have a good game plan for Saturday, just need to see what happens between the green flag and the checkered flag.”
On the heels of a sixth-place finish in the most recent ARCA Menards Series race at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Graf Jr. knows his team is capable of capitalizing on the Salem momentum and applying it to the final short track race on Oct. 5.
“Salem was a good boost for our team but need to carry it further at Lucas Oil and do it in a big way,” Graf Jr. explained. “We’ve had a lot of top-10 finishes this year, more than last year, but we’re lacking the performances in the top-five. We’ve got two races left and two opportunities to put ourselves in that spot – so that’s what we’ll do.”
For the 19th 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.
“I can’t begin to thank EAT SLEEP RACE for what they’ve done for me and our Chad Bryant Racing team this season,” sounded Graf Jr. “The amount of apparel they carry right now is unbelievable and with fall and winter seasons approaching, they’re going to roll out a lot of cool items.
“It’s been great to see EAT SLEEP RACE get all kinds of exposure this season between ARCA and NASCAR and I hope we’re able to continue our partnership moving forward.”
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 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).
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.