CONCORD, N.C. – After a frustrating finish at Toledo Speedway this past weekend, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing team are focused on a serious rebound in Thursday night’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Losing valuable championship points after being taken out by another competitor at Toledo, Graf fell to fifth in the championship standings and although the championship is still within reach with plenty of races remaining on the schedule, Graf realizes his team has to step up to the challenge and leave Charlotte with a proud finish.
“Have to go to Charlotte and recover, there’s not doubt about it,” said Graf Jr. “Toledo was frustrating, and I was aggravated for a lot of reasons, but I’m a professional race car driver. I’m making some mental notes and moving forward. The guys are prepared to go to Charlotte and have a good run and I’m ready to drive to the front.”
Graf joined his Chad Bryant Racing teammate Ty Majeski at an open-test at the 1.5-mile speedway a couple weeks ago and while the test wasn’t as successful as all had hoped, Graf Jr. knows he’s returning to the team’s hometown track better.
“That’s why tests are so important,” offered Graf Jr. “The test offered an opportunity to see where we were start to finish. We were OK, not great and everyone was determined to go back to the shop and be better. I think we will. We were pretty decent last year even though we didn’t get the finish we felt like we deserved.
“We’re focused and that’s important.”
For the seventh 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-lap 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.
“We’ve done a lot when it comes to activation at the race track and on social media and it helped the bigger picture. Our plastic bag awareness campaign from Daytona was a monstrous success and we’ll look to do things like that throughout the season.”
Bryant says a good run on Thursday night would be the boost the team needs to put them right back on track for the upcoming stretch of races.
“As a team we just need to stay focused and get back in the saddle,” offered Bryant. “Toledo was super disappointing and frustrating but sometimes that’s just a part of the game, even if you end up on the wrong side of the stick.
“Joe knows what he needs to do this week at Charlotte and we’re going to work relentlessly to make sure we’re giving him the car he needs so he can go out there and his job to the best of his ability.”
To bring exclusivity to his No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion, Graf will carry the Fast Kids Club onboard camera for his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Fast Kids Club is the designated youth division of EAT SLEEP RACE.
The General Tire 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., May 23 with a two-hour session planned from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race in the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 9:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will 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.