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World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway | Day to Day Coffee 150 Race Recap

Team: No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion
Driver: Joe Graf Jr.
Follow the Team: @ChadBryantRace; @JoeGrafJr
Start: 11th
Finish: 11th; Running; (113 | 120 laps completed)
Unofficial Driver Points Position: Fifth

Joe Graf Jr. Quote: “We are disappointed with our finish but not by our performance. We were able to use track position to our advantage to keep our No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion near the front and even lead a couple laps.

“Unfortunately, we stretched ourselves hoping to get a caution and ran out of gas. We were then penalized by ARCA for intentionally causing a caution which was false.

“We were slapped with a five-race penalty which ultimately ruined our chances at a good finish. We’ll take the positives from Gateway though and move onto Chicagoland and see if we can get back in the top-five.”

Next Up: Bounty 150 at Chicagoland Speedway on Thurs., Jun. 27 live on FS1.

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.

Back on track Joe Graf Jr. set to tackle Gateway

MADISON, Ill. – On the strength of three consecutive top-10 finishes in the ARCA Menards Series, sophomore Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) driver Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) heads to World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) at Gateway for Saturday night’s Day to Day Coffee 150.

While Graf Jr. is eager to produce more top-fives than top-10 finishes as the series’ hits their halfway point in the 2019 season, Graf on the heels of his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this past weekend at Iowa Speedway believes his No. 77 Chad Bryant Racing team can close the gap and slide into Victory Lane.

“Madison wasn’t what we hoped, even though we came out of there with a top-10 finish,” said Graf Jr. who occupies fifth in the championship standings with 10 races remaining. “As a team, we’ve got to do a better job with execution and start running more consistently inside the top-five. Gateway would be a good place to kickoff the second half with that.”

To help prepare the 20-year-old for his second start at WWTR, Graf Jr. and his Chad Bryant-led team recently participated in a test at the 1.25-mile track where the team worked aggressively on setup in hopes of earning Graf his seventh top-10 of 2019.

“The test was productive,” added Graf Jr. “We were supposed to test on Wednesday and got rained out, so we had to push it back until Thursday. We weren’t able to test in the conditions that we’ll experience this week, but it was still productive to get on the track and get some seat time.”

Looking to better his eighth-place performance from 2018, the rising star enjoys racing in St. Louis.

“Gateway reminds me of a short track and intermediate track all in one. It has long straightaways and sweeping turns which produces good racing. While it can be sometimes hard to pass, there is room to pass but you just have to work hard and setup your passes. I think restarts will be pivotal on Saturday night, hopefully it’s a good night for us.”

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 Ford Fusion for the 150-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 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.”

ARCA team owner and crew chief Chad Bryant explains that while the No. 77 hasn’t met their goals from the first half of the 2019 season, there’s still plenty of time to achieve them for the second half.

“Everyone is working day and night to make sure we’re bringing Joe the most competitive race cars we can,” Bryant said. “We’ve had plenty of ups and downs so far this year, but heading to Gateway, I really feel like we can turn the corner and get Joe back up near the front where he belongs.

“I’m proud of him for his solid effort in the Xfinity Series car at Iowa Speedway and hope he can carry that momentum back to the ARCA side on Saturday night.”

Entering Gateway, Graf Jr. has one win, seven top-five and 14 top-10s in 29 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 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 Day to Day Coffee 150 (120 laps | 150 miles) is the 11th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat., June 22 with a 50-minute practice session from 11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. A final 55-minute practice has been slated from 1:30 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 6:45 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 (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.

Corey Heim eager for top-five performance in Gateway debut

MADISON, Ill. – Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) development driver Corey Heim heads to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway this weekend looking to return to top-five status in Saturday night’s Day to Day Coffee 150.

Last weekend at Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway, Heim had a solid No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford Fusion but found himself being taken out by another competitor halfway through the race and left the team with a 10th place finish.

Eager to rebound and deliver Chad Bryant Racing’s third ARCA Menards Series win of the year, Heim is ready for business.

“I’m still pretty frustrated about last weekend at Madison to be honest,” said Heim. “These Chad Bryant Racing pour their guts out to put competitive cars on the track and for us to be taken out by someone is tasteless.

“But by the time the garage opens at Gateway this weekend, I need to put Madison behind me and focus on making my Gateway debut as positive as possible.”

To help the 16-year-old prepare for his WWTR debut, Heim’s Chad Bryant Racing team led by veteran crew chief Paul Andrews participated in a private test at the 1.25-mile track last week and even though their test was shortened by weather, Heim was appreciative of the track time.

“I think our test went great last week, added Heim. “We unloaded with a great car and got better with each and every run. I think we’ve got a great price for this weekend’s race. Gateway is a very unique track as it is, I’ve never raced on something like it. Both corners are completely different, and you have to downshift in turns one and two, which I’ve never done before. I think a good goal for us this weekend will be a top-five.”

Despite being in and out of the No. 22 seat and sharing it with teammate Ty Majeski, the Marietta, Ga. native says his relationship with Andrews continues to improve and he doesn’t believe it will be long before he’s in Victory Lane.

“My relationship with Paul only continues to get stronger with every race,” added Heim. “After Chicagoland next week, I’ll be in the car for the rest of the season besides Kansas. I think to be in the seat that often will be important for me to get in that position to win my first ARCA race.

“This is the first race on a speedway-like track for me and I think a top-five is a good goal for the Chad Bryant Racing team. The biggest thing I’ve learned in ARCA so far is how to drive a heavy car with a lot of horsepower. Late models are light and sleek, while ARCA cars are heavy with a lot of horsepower.

“It’s been a big learning curve for me, but I think we’ve made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season. I’m very excited to get under way at Gateway this weekend with my team, I think we’ve got a good shot to run up front and compete for the win.”

Andrews a former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief concurs with his young driver.

“Gateway will be our sixth race together – but like Corey said we are improving,” Andrews mentioned. “We weren’t happy with our car last weekend. We were off a little bit to start the race and when Corey was on a charge to get to the front, we got taken out.

“This weekend at Gateway, I think we’ll be in better shape, especially since Corey was able to test and get some laps under his belt. Hopefully, we can put ourselves in a good position to put Chad Bryant Racing back in the winners’ circle on Saturday night.”

For more on Corey Heim, please like him on Facebook (Corey Heim Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@corey.heim) and Twitter (@coreyheim3).

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 Day to Day Coffee 150 (120 laps | 150 miles) is the 11th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Sat., June 22 with a 50-minute practice session from 11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. A final 55-minute practice has been slated from 1:30 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:30 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 6:45 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 (Central).