JOLIET, Ill. – Continuing to grind through a seven-week consecutive ARCA Menards Series stretch at Chicagoland Speedway, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing team head to Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway focused on another top-five finish in Thursday night’s Bounty 150.
This past weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Graf led his second laps of the 2019 season, and while a late race gamble on fuel turned dry in the closing laps, the No. 77 team led by championship crew chief Chad Bryant is still upbeat heading to the Windy City.
“We feel pretty good despite our 11th place finish at Gateway,” said Graf. “I think as a team we executed a lot on Saturday, but we took a gamble and it just didn’t pan out. That’s racing sometimes. I’m eager to get to Chicago and end this stretch of ARCA racing on a positive note.”
20-year-old Graf will make his second start at Chicagoland Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval. Last June, he finished a respectable 13th after starting 14th in just his second intermediate track of his career.
“I’ve learned a lot since last year,” added Graf. “Just about how to handle these cars, move them around the air by myself or around other cars, you are always learning. We’ve shown that our Chad Bryant Racing cars have speed on the bigger tracks this year, I’m hoping to earn our second top-five of the year on Thursday night.”
For the 11th 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 Chevrolet for the 150-mile race.
Bryant has elected to bring the same race car that Graf finished fourth earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway. Showcasing speed throughout his second trip to the Irish Hills, Graf is hoping for the same type of performance from his race car this week.
“We had a lot of speed at Michigan,” Graf mentioned. “We worked on the handling throughout the race – but I think we made some major strides. Hopefully, we can unload with the same type of speed in practice on Thursday and carry to the end of the 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 the effort from everyone to help put EAT SLEEP RACE’s name out there on a weekly basis,” he added. “We’ve got some stuff up our sleeve for the rest of the year and can’t wait for all that to be unveiled soon.”
Bryant explains that while the No. 77 team finish at Gateway didn’t reflect their performance, it was a relatively good boost to the second half of the 2019 season.
“I’m proud of Joe,” Bryant said. “He wheeled that car at Gateway and was up front for a lot of that race. While we didn’t have the finish we had hoped, there’s a lot of good vibe around our team right now and I hope we can capitalize on that at Chicagoland.”
Entering Chicago, Graf Jr. has one win, seven top-five and 14 top-10s in 30 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 the 12th race of the season, Graf will carry the in-car camera myFace logos for his second start at Chicagoland Speedway. 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.
The Bounty 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs. June 27 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:35 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 7:00 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 (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.