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Derek Griffith joins Chad Bryant Racing for ARCA East event at New Smyrna Speedway

NEW SMYRNA, Fla.: Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) announced today that accomplished Late Model racer Derek Griffith will join the touted ARCA Menards Series team for Monday night’s ARCA Menards Series East Series opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

Griffith who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Sunday, Feb. 9 will drive the team’s No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Driver Development Ford Fusion in the 175-lap contest.

The talented Late Model ace from the Northeast carries’ momentum from the first couple of nights of the World Series of Asphalt competition which saw Griffith maneuver back-to-back second-place finishes on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

After a Sunday afternoon of testing with the Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team alongside former NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief Paul Andrews – Griffith is ready to strap in and showcase not only his potential – but continue to demonstrate the strength of his Chad Bryant Racing team.

“I’m very excited to be racing with Chad Bryant Racing in my ARCA Menards Series East debut,” said Griffith, a two-time finalist in the Kulwicki Driver Development program. “It was a last-minute deal that I am very happy to be a part of.

“I have waited a long time for a shot at driving a top-tier ‘NASCAR Series’ car and to get a shot with arguably one of the best teams in ARCA has me and my whole crew excited. We have been coming to Speedweeks since 2013 and I have cut my teeth at New Smyrna Speedway.

“My rookie start here has me pretty comfortable and eager to learn.”

Concentrating on both short run and long run speeds during the open ARCA Menards Series test on Sunday, Griffith, a native of Hudson, New Hampshire says he felt comfortable behind the wheel of his No. 2 Ford Fusion and is ready to contend for the win in his series’ debut.

“I think the seat time and learning on what these guys do to the cars was crucial,” added Griffith. “These guys worked extremely hard and gave me a great piece to work with. I’m very happy with the consistency of the car and look forward to a productive race on Monday night.”

Team owner Chad Bryant says he’s looking forward to Griffith’s opportunity with his Mooresville, N.C.-based team.

“We’ve been keeping our eye on Derek for a while now and I’m glad we were able to put something together for New Smyrna even if it was last minute. He is incredibly smooth behind the wheel and isn’t afraid to lay it all on the line. That’s the kind of passion and determination I love in a driver.

“We had fast cars at Daytona during the ARCA Menards Series opener on Saturday – but were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Hopefully, Monday night we’ll have a shot at finishing what we started at Daytona – getting ourselves into Victory Lane!”
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).

Jacob Heafner readies ARCA Menards Series debut at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla: The biggest race of Jacob Heafner’s young career is set for this Saturday.

Heafner, an accomplished short track racer from North Carolina is poised to make his ARCA Menards Series debut in the series’ biggest race of the season in Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at the famed Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

And although the 20-year-old is a rookie when it comes to the heavier stock cars used to compete in ARCA competition, the Dallas, N.C.-native tested at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway last month more like a tamed veteran guiding his No. 77 Ford Fusion to the 10th quickest time overall during the two-day test session led by team owner and championship crew chief Chad Bryant.

While Heafner realizes the situation will be totally different this weekend in his series’ debut, he’s embracing the opportunity to learn and turn heads on Saturday afternoon.

“I can’t begin to say how huge of an opportunity this is for me and my career,” said Heafner. “I’m paired with a lot of smart people who bring fast and winning race cars to the track and I’m the lucky guy that gets to sit behind the wheel.

“I’m not sure what all to expect for my ARCA Menards Series debut, but I definitely want to earn the respect of my competitors and be around for the finish.”

Knowing that 80 laps will go by quick thundering around the “World Center of Racing” in about 50-seconds, Heafner is relying on his team led by Bryant to help limit his mistakes.

“It’s a big deal to come to Daytona,” added Heafner. “I want to have zero mistakes both on the race track and on pit road. I plan to really use my spotter to my benefit and listen to not only his guidance but the tips he’s giving me from up top. I realize that I (still) have a lot to learn, but I feel like between the team and I – I can have a good showing and look for more races on the horizon.”

When asked of his goals for Daytona, Heafner was quick to respond.

“Finish,” he quipped. “I’d love to have a top-10, that would feel like a win, but I want to finish this race and bring the car back in one piece for Chad and the guys and all of those pitching in to put me on the track.”

PowerHouse Recycling, a marker leader in certified electronics recycling and IT asset management services will advance their relationship with Heafner from Late Models to ARCA and support his efforts this weekend.

“I can’t thank PowerHouse Recycling enough for their faith in me as a race car driver,” he said. “It’s a huge investment for them to take this next leap in my racing endeavors. The car looks great and I’m determined to bring them a finish they can be proud of.”

For Bryant, he is no stranger to working with young, inexperienced drivers but says Heafner displays the patience that will be pivotal to success at a place like Daytona.

“I’m really proud of our lineup for Daytona,” sounded Bryant. “Connor (Hall) is back with us for a second Daytona race and Jacob will make his ARCA Menards Series debut on Saturday. I think Jacob and Connor are a lot alike as they are both relatively quiet drivers but are fierce competitors once they put on those helmets.

“I think Connor will be a good drafting partner for Jacob and vice-versa. We had a lot of speed in our cars at the test and I’m hopeful we can continue that pace this weekend and kick off our 2020 season with some momentum.”

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., Feb. 7 with a one-hour session from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Group qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 68th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag shortly after 4:30 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.

For more on Jacob Heafner, please like him on Facebook (Heafner95) and follow him on Instagram (@heafner95) and Twitter (@JacobHeafner).

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

Connor Hall excited and thankful for second Daytona opportunity

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla: Having one of the fastest ARCA Menards Series cars in preseason testing at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway last month, Chad Bryant Racing and newcomer Connor Hall are eager to return to the “World Center of Racing” and capitalize on their speed in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.

Saturday’s season-opening race will be Hall’s second experience at the famed superspeedway and after narrowly missing a top-10 finish in his ARCA Menards Series debut last February, the Hampton, Va. native is eager for a second opportunity.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Daytona this weekend,” said Hall who has two ARCA Menards Series starts to his credit. “I had to learn a lot in 80 laps last year – but going back to the test in January and knowing what I had to work on and improve, I was really happy with our team walking out of the test.

“Saturday’s race though isn’t going to be easy. There’s a lot of people on different agendas and some who have little to no experience at Daytona – so being patient and staying out of trouble are going to be super important to making it to the finish.”

LetLoveLive Animal Rescue will serve as the primary partner for Hall’s 2020 season-opening race.

To raise money for their initiative, any monetary donation of thirty dollars or higher will automatically enter donors into a contest to win the right side door of Hall’s winning race car from last year in the Hampton Heat, while also guaranteeing (until Saturday morning) their name on the hood of Hall’s Chad Bryant Racing race car for Saturday’s race.

Donations are being accepted here.

“I’m incredibly thankful for everything LetLoveLive Animal Rescue is doing for me and being apart of my racing career,” added Hall. “We’ve already raised over $3,000 in a couple weeks and focused on making a big push this week leading up to the ARCA race. We’re hopeful to do a lot more with them this season.”

Other marketing partners supporting Hall include Breeden Concrete, Charles Barker Automotive, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing, Structural Steel Products and Towne Bank.

“Everyone knows that it takes sponsorship to make things go in racing, especially at a place like Daytona,” added Hall. “ARCA is where I’m hoping to be and hopefully we can have a good finish on Saturday that will also us to race more in the future, especially at Chad Bryant Racing.

“I love these guys and they treat me like family. Can’t wait to get on track Thursday afternoon.”

What’s equally exciting for the 22-year-old Hall is the chance to work with veteran and former NASCAR championship crew chief Paul Andrews.

“Paul is so knowledgeable and he’s helping me a ton,” sounded Hall. “He’s easy to talk to and we’re able to bounce things off one another. He knows how to make cars go fast at places like Daytona and Talladega, so I’m looking forward to being in the driver’s seat and continuing Chad Bryant Racing’s winning ways in 2020.”

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., Feb. 7 with a one-hour session from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Group qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 68th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag shortly after 4:30 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.

For more on Connor Hall, please like him on Facebook (Connor Hall Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@connorhallweb) and Twitter (@connorhallweb).

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