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Derek Griffith leaning on Chad Bryant Racing team ahead of Pocono debut

Derek Griffith leaning on Chad Bryant Racing team ahead of Pocono debut

LONG POND, Pa.: Derek Griffith’s 2020 season may have been reshuffled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Friday afternoon’s General Tire #ANYWHEREISPOSSIBLE 200 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway is a prime opportunity for the Chad Bryant Racing development driver.

Chad Bryant Racing is the defending winner of the 80-lap race and although the 23-year-old Griffith has never been to the tough and treacherous 2.5-mile triangle, the Hudson, N.H. native has developed a reputation for conquering challenges in spectacular fashion.

His ARCA Menards Series debut may be his biggest challenge yet.

“I’m excited to get to Pocono on Friday,” said Griffith. “It’s going to be a big challenge as it will be the largest track that I’ve ever competed on, but I feel like I’m heading there with one of the best teams in the garage.

“It’s going to take a few laps to get comfortable, but I think with some confidence in myself and the leadership of the Chad (Bryant) and Paul (Andrews, crew chief) we can turn some heads.”

Traditionally before the June ARCA race, the series’ host an open-test session allowing rookie drivers the prime opportunity to get comfortable with the “Tricky Triangle,” but with COVID-19 changing the protocols of the season, Griffith will have just one hour to find his comfort zone – just hours before the race.

“I’ve been doing all I can to get ready for Pocono,” added Griffith. “Reviewing notes, talking to people, watching old races, you name it, I’ve been all over it. It’s important for us to have a good outing in our first race with Original Gourmet™ Food Company, so we’ll take the hour practice session and hope it gives us a good direction for the race.”

Friday will also mark the debut of Original Gourmet™ Food Company as the primary partner of Griffith’s No. 22 Ford Fusion.

Headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire, Original Gourmet™ has been innovating in the sweets and snack industry since 1994. Their story started with a recipe and a vision.

Their curiosity for making special blends of flavors and colors of candy became a passion for providing people with bold tasting lollipops.

Griffith’s car will be covered in a variety of the company’s 26 lollipops flavors.

Original Gourmet’s lollipops are the largest pops sold with a bright taste and bright colors – standing out from all the rest. Weighing in at 1.1 oz., these lollipops are gluten and peanut free delights that have a plastic stick and will not get soggy like all the other lollipops do.

“I am so blessed for this opportunity to represent Original Gourmet™ Food Company and compete in the ARCA Menards Series,” added Griffith. “This is a great chance to bring a new partner into the sport and bring a product that race fans can enjoy while watching our Chad Bryant Racing compete for race wins.”

Team owner Chad Bryant says he is ecstatic to have Griffith onboard for Pocono and thinks he will impress many in the fourth race of the season.

“Derek impressed a lot of people at New Smyrna and he’ll only continue to turn heads in the ARCA Menards Series,” offered Bryant. “He is extremely talented, and I think he’ll be able to showcase that whether it’s on a short track or a big track.

“We’re going to win some races before the end of the 2020 season, I promise ya.”

For more on Derek Griffith, please visit derekgriffith.com, like him on Facebook (Derek Griffith Motorsports) and follow him on Twitter (@DerekGriffith12).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please visit ChadBryantRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace).

For more on Original Gourmet™ Food Company and their products, please visit ogfc.net.

The General Tire #ANYWHEREISPOSSIBLE 200 (80 laps | 200 miles) is the fourth of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 26 with an hour session from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 1:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (Eastern).

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Pocono (Pa.) Raceway | General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: Sixth
Finish: Eighth; Running (78 | 80 laps completed)
Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “I am very frustrated.  We really struggled with the balance of the car.  We tried something new at the test and it didn’t really bear fruit, so we decided to switch back to setup we had last year.  But with the limited practice time due to rain today, we just couldn’t get the car “dialed in” the way we would have liked.

“This has been a season of challenges. Between freak part failures, rain shortened practice sessions, and even plastic bags, it has been a surreal year so. When I see all the time and effort we are putting into this program I just couldn’t imagine these would be the results.

“These results would discourage the best of us.  This experience doesn’t feel good. But I will tell you what I have learned.  Mental toughness.  When I debrief with Chad (Bryant, team owner and crew chief) and Todd (Myers, car chief) I am impressed with their mental toughness and their process on problem solving.  There is no quitting attitude though.

“We remain focused on fielding the best car possible. We expect that engines won’t fail, transmissions won’t fail, and people pick up their trash.  A little help from Mother Nature would be nice too. The rest is up to us.

“Today’s result sucked.  But I really enjoyed seeing all the Joe Graf Jr and Chad Bryant Racing fans that made it out to Pocono.  It was really amazing.   I also enjoyed hanging around with the Eat Sleep Race models.  That was pretty easy to get used to.  I can’t thank EAT SLEEP RACE enough for coming out, all the family and friends that were here and the fans in the stands. I appreciate their support.

“I’m looking forward to going to Michigan International Speedway next weekend to make my NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with Richard Childress Racing. EAT SLEEP RACE will be on the car. Be sure to tune in on Saturday on FS1.”

ARCA Next Up: VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Fri., June 7, 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.

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.

Ty Majeski scores back-to-back ARCA Menards Series victories with Pocono Raceway triumph

Pocono (Pa.) Raceway | General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 Race Recap
Team: No. 22 Crestliner Ford Fusion
Driver: Ty Majeski
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @tymajeski
Start: Fifth
Finish: 1st; Winner!; Running (80 | 80 laps completed)

Event Notes:

– Majeski started fifth in his third ARCA Menards Series start of the season. He never ran worse than fifth the entire 80 laps.

– Minimal chassis adjustments allowed Majeski to maneuver his No. 22 Crestliner Ford Fusion through the field and swipe the lead away from Riley Herbst during green flag pit stops on Lap 68.

– Majeski took the lead on Lap 68 and withstood a late race charge by Herbst to win his second career ARCA victory in his 12th series start.

– In three ARCA races this season, Majeski has finished fourth, first and first respectively at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

– Majeski is slated to run a minimum of three more ARCA Menards Series races this season including Michigan International Speedway (June 7), Chicagoland Speedway (June 27) and the season-finale at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 18.

– The General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 marked Chad Bryant Racing’s third career ARCA Menards Series victory since acquiring the team from Cunningham Motorsports at the end of the 2017 season. Majeski’s teammate Joe Graf Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion) earned his first career ARCA triumph and the team’s first victory at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway last August.

– Majeski’s teammate Joe Graf Jr. finished eighth in the No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion.

Ty Majeski Quote:

“It’s all about being with the right people. Being with Chad Bryant and Paul Andrews has been incredible. They have put together a great team and the guys all work hard to make days like today happen.

“Coming to pit road I thought I could have gotten a little more, but I maximized my speed. “I came into the box hot and got out pretty good. I knew it was going to be tough for the 18 to match that. I saw him leaving his pit and knew he would have to use the apron in turn one and I had a good head of steam going and from there everything went our way.

“I can’t thank Crestliner for their continued support and my CBR guys for their hard work. I’m having a blast. Looking forward to having an opportunity to make it three-for-three next weekend at Michigan International Speedway.”

Next Up: VizCom 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Fri., June 7, 2019..

For more on Ty Majeski, please like him on Facebook (Ty Majeski Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@tymajeski_) and Twitter (@TyMajeski).

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.

Pocono a Home Race for Jersey Boy Joe Graf, Jr.

The ARCA Menards Series comes to Pocono Raceway after a Thursday night 150-miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a race most of the teams in the series consider to be their home race. But for Mahwah, New Jersey’s Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford), Friday’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 is his home race.

Mahwah is 100 miles from the 2.5-mile layout nestled in the Pocono Mountains. And like anyone who gets to play on a stage in front of their home crowd, including friends and family, Graf wants to put on a good show.

“It’s always gratifying to race so close to home,” said Graf. “Thankfully, we’re able to race at Pocono twice a year and we’re going to have guests at the track both weekends, which makes the race weekend more memorable. Of course, being so close to home also allows me to go home and see friends and family after the race, so that’s a bonus too.”

Graf has two previous starts at the Tricky Triangle. He finished seventh in the June race last season but was a disappointing 26th in the July race. Graf, who earned his first career win at Berlin Raceway last August, will be going for his second career victory and his first of 2019 at Pocono. Despite the track’s technical nature and challenging layout, Graf is looking at the race as a good chance to get his first win of the season.

“I like Pocono because of its uniqueness,” he said. “Each turn is different, so it’s very important to get into a rhythm. I ran OK the first race and then had some bad luck in the July race but I’m a bit more optimistic this time around. We plan to be really aggressive at the test this week and hope to get our car dialed in.

“We’ve had some bad luck the last two races which has really hurt our championship efforts. We’re not giving up by any means, but we’re going to Pocono this weekend knowing we need to get back on track and leave there with a top-five finish, if not a win.”

Graf has a busy summer ahead. The General Tire 200 is the third of seven races in a row, a stretch that will conclude with an off weekend over the Fourth of July weekend. Graf will be racing that weekend, however, as he will be competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway for Richard Childress Racing. It will be his third series start, following races at Michigan and Iowa. Graf, a student at New York University, is also an intern with the marketing department at RCR. It’s a unique opportunity that blends driving the racecar with the behind-the-scenes work that makes it all happen.

“The Richard Childress Racing internship has been more than I’ve ever expected,” he said. “I can’t begin to describe how much I’ve learned and embraced both on and off the track. I can’t believe the internship is almost over – but I’m going to continue to be at the shop a lot this summer not only because I’ll be racing with them a little bit – but because I’m learning so much that I want to continue to gain more knowledge. That is never a bad thing.”

While he does have other racing opportunities, Graf remains focused on succeeding in the ARCA Menards Series. He’d like to find the path to victory lane for the second time in his career after notching his first career win at Berlin Raceway last August.

“I want to win again, I’m hungry to win,” Graf explained. “The competition is stiff in the ARCA Menards Series though right now. Chad Bryant Racing is coming off a big win at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week at Charlotte, so we’ve proven that we have the equipment to get the job done, it’s just a lot about circumstances and even luck too.

“Chad (Bryant), my crew chief (and owner) is working relentlessly with the guys in the shop. We’ll get there. Maybe even this week at Pocono. I know I’ll get back to Victory Lane in ARCA soon. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”

The battle for the ARCA Menards Series championship continues in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway on Friday, May 31. Practice starts at 9 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 12 noon. The race is scheduled to start at 5:45 pm ET and will be televised live on FS2 with a same day replay on FS1 at 8 pm ET. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for free at ARCARacing.com. New users may join for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. For tickets, log on to PoconoRaceway.com or call 800-RACEWAY.

Focused and marching forward for Joe Graf Jr. in Pocono Raceway return

LONG POND, Pa. – After a two-race rough patch, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing team invade Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for Friday afternoon’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 looking to get their season back on track and thrust Graf Jr. back into the championship fight.

From a season-high sixth-place finish at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville to being involved in a multi-car crash at Toledo and suffering engine woes last week at Charlotte – the setbacks have certainly shaken the team’s momentum – but not their faith.

On Wednesday, Graf Jr. joined his Chad Bryant Racing teammates Corey Heim and Ty Majeski for a several-hour test at the 2.5-mile triangle and while the speed in his No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion was only 10th quickest overall, 20-year-old Graf Jr. isn’t worried.

“Overall, it was a productive test,” said Graf Jr. who sits fifth in the championship standings. “We were working on long-run speed in our No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford and we were preparing to make our mock qualifying run and then the storms came.

“So, while we ended the test 10th quickest overall, I’m optimistic that we can have a super performance on Friday afternoon.”

Graf made two starts at the “Tricky Triangle” in 2018, and while a track-best 11th wasn’t exactly satisfying for Graf and his CBR team, Graf Jr. believes his track experience will pay dividends in the 80-lap race Friday afternoon.

“Pocono is so unique, it’s a race track that I just embrace and love to race at,” added Graf. “Each of the three turns are so different and you really have to set yourself up perfectly to get through the turns to set you up for the run on the straightaways.

“We felt content with our lap times during our long race pace. I think we still have some work to do during practice on Friday morning, but I think we’ll get there and have a good day on Friday.”

For the eighth 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-mile 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.”

Team owner and crew chief Chad Bryant says he is seeing calmness and focus out of his sophomore ARCA driver and he hopes his determination will lead to on-track success.

“While we were OK with our test results on Wednesday, we all want more and that’s a positive,” added Bryant. “Joe seems to get more comfortable with Pocono with every passing lap. We’ll make some tweaks on the car from the test to race day and hope Joe approves.

“There’s still a lot of racing left and opportunity to put our No. 77 team front and center where we feel like we belong and our chance at Victory Lane. There’s no quit in our race team, I promise you that.”

For this weekend at Pocono, Graf will carry the in-car camera myFace logos for his third start at Pocono Raceway. 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.
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 General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 (80 laps | 200 miles) is the eighth of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., May 31 with an hour practice session from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 12:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 5:45 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) with same day coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) at 8:00 p.m. 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.