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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).

Connor Hall Leads the Way in ARCA Menards Series Open Test at Daytona

On a day that started off delayed due to a wet track surface, the ARCA Menards Series open test at Daytona was also cut short Friday afternoon by inclement weather. Connor Hall (No. 22C Chad Bryant Racing Ford) had just moved to the top of the leaderboard as a group of drivers had started to work the draft, raising speeds above 180 miles per hour.

Hall’s fast lap of 49.711 seconds/181.046 miles per hour just narrowly nipped Ronnie Osmer’s fastest lap. Osmer (No. 02O Our Motorsports Chevrolet) timed in with a lap at 49.754 seconds/180.890 miles per hour, just 0.043 seconds off Hall’s fastest lap.

“We were working on single car runs this morning,” Hall said. “We had a game plan to work on the car and getting air where we wanted it. We made some gains and learned some things we liked and didn’t like. That’s what testing is all about. We were focused on what we needed to be better on last year. We have a great racecar. We are happy but not totally happy so we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”

Chad Bryant Racing’s Jacob Heafner (No. 77H Chad Bryant Racing Ford) was third at 49.767 seconds/180.843 miles per hour.

“It was a learning curve atthe beginning,” Heafner said. “I calmed myself down and got to driving. It is a big change coming from late models on short tracks. We worked a little on single car runs and then got out there in the draft a little. We’re learning a lot and ready to come back in February.”

Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) was fourth quick at 49.772 seconds/180.825 miles per hour and Andy Suess (No. 02S Our Motorsports Chevrolet) rounded out the top five at 49.828 seconds/180.621 miles per hour.

Others that teamed up to work the draft and exceed 180 miles per hour included Gus Dean (No. 32 Win Tron Racing Chevrolet), Riley Herbst (No. 18H Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet), Dominique Van Wieringen (No. 30D Rette Jones Racing Ford), and her brother Tristan Van Wieringen (No. 30T Rette Jones Racing Ford). Bret Holmes (No. 23 Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet) rounded out the top ten.

Thirty-seven drivers took time of the 50 that have registered. No incidents were reported throughout the day.

The two day test in preparation for the ARCA Menards Series season opening Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire, set for Saturday, February 10, will continue tomorrow morning at 9 am ET with the afternoon session set for 1 pm ET. Live timing and scoring will be available throughout the day at ARCARacing.com.

Chad Bryant Racing sets sights on Daytona ARCA test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: The season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on February 8, 2020, is the ARCA Menards Series’ Super Bowl event and Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) is eyeing one of the most coveted trophies of the season.

To help prepare the Mooresville, N.C.-based team for the first race of the season, the organization will partake in this weekend’s open ARCA Menards Series test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway with two familiar faces and a promising young rookie.

Chad Bryant Racing will field three automobiles during the two-day test on January 10th and 11th while planning to return to the “World Center of Racing” in a month with at least two entries eyeing the team’s first win of the season.

ARCA Menards Series veteran Tom Hessert III (@tomhessert) will drive the team’s No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Ford Fusion this weekend. Hessert, a native of Cherry Hill, N.J. is a six-time ARCA winner, four with Cunningham Motorsports, the predecessor of Chad Bryant Racing.

The 33-year-old is a former pole sitter at Daytona and owns three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 career starts between 2008 to 2018.

“I am extremely excited to get back to Daytona this weekend,” offered Hessert. “Chad and I are great friends and when he asked me to come test, I jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s kind of a reunion for me, as I spent so much time racing out of that shop with Chad and Paul (Andrews, crew chief and team manager). I hope to be able to lend some of my experience to my teammates this weekend and help prepare them for the race next month.”

Returning to Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona is Hampton, Va. native Connor Hall (@connor_hall77).

An exceptional short track racer – Hall burst onto the ARCA Menards Series scene last February with an impressive showing in his ARCA debut driving the No. 22 Ford Fusion for CBR.

Recovering from a mid-race spin to finish a strong 11th in his first superspeedway race last February, the 22-year-old is thrilled to reunite with Andrews and improve on what they started nearly 12 months ago.

LetLoveLive Animal Rescue will support Hall in his third career ARCA Menards Series start, while Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products will serve as associate partners for Daytona.

“I’m extremely happy and fortunate to be back with Chad Bryant Racing,” said Hall. “As always, I’m looking forward to working with Chad (Bryant), Paul (Andrews) and the No. 22 team. The test and next month’s race wouldn’t be possible without LetLoveLive and their initiative, as well as Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products. I’m ready to get to work but have some fun too.”

Newcomer Jacob Heafner (@JacobHeafner) will round out the trio of cars this weekend at Daytona for CBR.

Heafner, a native of Dallas, N.C. will turn his first laps in an ARCA Menards Series car this weekend and return to the facility to partake in his series’ debut aboard the No. 77 Ford Fusion in February.

Heafner, 20, efforts will be supported by PowerHouse Recycling, a marker leader in certified electronics recycling and IT asset management services.

The veteran Late Model Stock racer and 2018 Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model champion is eager for his first laps around the historic Daytona high banks.

“I’m so blessed to have this incredible opportunity to drive for Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona,” sounded Heafner. “While I’m very eager to get on track, I understand the magnitude of this race and I’ll be incredibly focused on working with Chad (Bryant) and the rest of my Chad Bryant Racing team to take in as much knowledge as I can, while following the advice and guidance of my teammates.

“Looking forward to a strong weekend of testing and gaining some momentum for the actual race.”

Team owner Chad Bryant, who is also a championship-winning ARCA crew chief says his team lineup for the Daytona test is full of experience and talent – two potent combinations needed to make Daytona successful.

“We’re heading to Daytona and ready to get another year underway,” he said. “I can’t thank all the people on this Chad Bryant Racing team including Paul (Andrews) and Todd (Myers) for their dedication and leadership to bring a strong fleet of cars to the race track.

“Tom is going to be a great asset to assist Connor and Jacob who are not only eager to learn but focused on going fast and turning heads. My goal is to come out of the test with our goals conquered and the bigger picture on the race next month.”

For more on Tom Hessert III, please follow him on Twitter (@tomhessert).

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 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).

Joe Graf Jr. ready for Daytona ARCA debut

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The last time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) participated in a restrictor plate ARCA race – he found himself as a runner-up in the closest finish in series’ history last April at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

This weekend, Graf Jr. hopes to have a role of reversal as he treks to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.

Joining the ARCA tour after Daytona last year, Graf Jr. will compete for the series’ championship aboard Chad Bryant Racing’s No. 77 Ford Fusion and with tough competition anticipated for the 20-race crown, Graf Jr. is ready to get down to business at the “World Center of Racing.”

“This is certainly a bucket list item to race at Daytona,” said Graf Jr. who finished eighth in the 2018 points standings despite missing one race. “We’re racing for a championship this season and a good run on Saturday will help our efforts. I know though when it comes to plate racing, finishing can sometimes come down to luck.”

Paired with 2016 ARCA championship crew chief and team owner Chad Bryant for his sophomore season of competition, Graf Jr. says he taken the steps to ensure he’s ready for the battle ahead and believes the guidance of Bryant will continue to accelerate his learning curve in ARCA.

“During the offseason, I really started to work out hard and make some adjustments in my lifestyle to make sure I’m ready to do my part this year,” Graf Jr. added. “I know that Chad (Bryant) and the rest of the Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team are going to do their best to bring fast race cars to the track and I need to make sure I’m giving the team more than 100 percent behind the wheel.”

Graf Jr. and the Mooresville, N.C.-based team participated in the two-day open test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in mid-January and while his No. 77 EatSleepRace.com Ford Fusion wasn’t at the top of the charts, the 20-year-old knows that this weekend is when speed and finesse count most.

“We learned a lot at the test,” he continued. “Chad and the guys made many adjustments during the two-day test and with every lap on the track we were gathering data to get back. We’ve made a lot modifications to our car since then and I’m eager to get on the track and see what we can do.”

As for his goals for his Daytona debut, Graf Jr. says he wants to earn his second career ARCA win – but also knows he’ll have to be realistic if that can’t happen.

“We all go to the track every weekend with the intention and goal to win,” Graf Jr. sounded. “We have the cars and people to win many races this year, we just need to see how the race pans out. If we don’t win and can leave Daytona with a top-10 finish – we’ll take that as a positive for the big picture.”

After joining CBR at the Daytona test, 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 80-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.

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.

“It means a lot to me to continue my relationship with Eat Sleep Race at Daytona this weekend,” said Graf. “Being from New Jersey, we share a common bond and have great ideas on how we can enhance our partnership as the season rolls on. Looking forward to carrying their colors this weekend at Daytona!”

Bryant says Graf Jr.’s focus during the test and his approach to the impending season has the morale at CBR in a good place.

“We’re excited to have Joe for another season,” Bryant said. “He is so focused on going out there and succeeding, there doesn’t appear anything can stand in his way. We will continue to do our job as a team and support one another on and off the track and plan to have a great season starting at Daytona this weekend.”

In 19 ARCA races, Graf Jr. has one career ARCA win (Berlin Raceway, August 2018), six top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He earned a career-best qualifying effort of fourth at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2018.

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 Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 7 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 9 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.

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.

Contact: [email protected]

Connor Hall joins Chad Bryant Racing for Daytona ARCA opener

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Officials from Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) announced today that Connor Hall (@connorhall77)has joined the veteran ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards team for Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Hall will make his series’ debut about the No. 22 Ford Fusion with support from Marlow Yachts and Healing Hands. NASCAR championship winning crew chief Paul Andrews will call the shots for Hall in the 80-lap season opener.

“I am ecstatic that I get to work with Chad Bryant Racing some this year,” Hall said. “I am beyond thankful for my sponsors and I’m extremely happy to represent them for this event, as well as the rest of the 2019 season.

“I look forward to what the 2019 season will bring for myself as a driver and also for my partners. I hope this is going to be our biggest and best year yet.”

Hall, 21, participated in the ARCA open-test at the “World Center of Racing” in January with another team where he earned crucial drafting experience readily preparing him for his superspeedway debut.

Team owner Chad Bryant said he kept an eye on Hall during the two-day session and was impressed with his ability to get up to speed quickly.

“We had a lot going on during the test at Daytona, but you always keep an eye on the competition,” said Bryant. “Connor was very smooth and attentive during the test and when he approached us about the running the race, it made sense.

“He knows in order to have an opportunity to win, he has to be around for the finish. He’ll make a great teammate to our other car driven by Joe Graf Jr. and we look forward to a strong start to the 2019 ARCA season.”

Hall’s partners are equally enthused about being a part of Speedweeks 2019.

“Marlow Yachts is happy to announce their partnership with Connor Hall and Chad Bryant Racing for the 2019 ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway,” said Marlow Yachts president David Marlow. “We are hoping for much success from Connor and the people at Chad Bryant Racing.”

“Connor is a talented race car driver and we are looking forward to what the future will hold for Marlow Yachts and Connor Hall in the ARCA Racing Series as well as the higher levels in NASCAR.”

Healing Hands vice president Sid Lakhani offered, “Healing Hands is excited to get to work with Connor Hall during his ARCA Racing Series debut at Daytona International Speedway. “This is going to be our first race partnered with Connor and the Chad Bryant Racing team and we feel great about what our partnership with each of them will bring.

“We believe partnering with Connor will provide our company with a new great ambassador. We look forward to being in Daytona and following the green tree around the track!”

In addition to the ARCA opener, Hall will participate in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season-opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway on Feb. 10 aboard the No. 31 Chevrolet for Marsh Racing. The Virginian will make his fourth series’ start and look to better his seventh-place finish at Langley (Va.) Speedway last April.

For more on Connor Hall, please like him on Facebook(Connor Hall Racing) and follow him on Instagram(@connorhall77) andTwitter(@connor_hall77).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook(Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter(@ChadBryantRace) and stay tuned for a brand new CBR website.

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 7 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 67thconsecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 9 shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.comwill stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.

Chad Bryant Racing inhales productive preseason test at Daytona International Speedway

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – One of the last ARCA Racing Series presented Menards teams to leave the grounds of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this past Sat., Jan. 12, Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) wrapped up a productive two-day test with their No. 22 and No. 77 Ford Fusions in preparation for next month’s season opening Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based team hosted four drivers between their two vehicles with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver and former ARCA race winner Parker Kligerman shaking down the team’s No. 22 Ford on Friday – before handing the steering wheel to newcomer Corey Heim.

The team’s flagship entry, the No. 77 Sleep Eat Race Ford Fusion driven primarily by Joe Graf Jr. – also had stints with Stefan Parsons, son of NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series television analyst Phil Parsons make his first laps around the “World Center of Racing.”

Focused on setup and engineering, team owner and Graf’s crew chief Chad Bryant explained the test was productive and will make his team better for the first race of the season on Feb. 9, 2019.

“The test was very productive,” said Bryant. “With the help of Parker, Corey, Joe and Stefan we were able to make significant gains from start to finish and feel confident in the direction of our superspeedway program for the race.

“We know that we weren’t the fastest bunch, but I make a promise when we come back to the track in about a month – everyone will know that we came to win the race.”

For Graf Jr., who will drive the team’s No. 77 Ford Fusion in his Daytona debut says the test allowed him to get a head start on Speedweeks.

“Daytona is a lot different than Talladega,” explained Graf who found himself a part of the closest finish in ARCA Racing Series history last April at Talladega edged by Zane Smith by a mere .029 seconds.

“While they are some similarities, there is a lot that is different too. We spent times in solo runs and in the draft and by the end of the test on Saturday – I feel like we made some steady gains that have me upbeat to get back for race weekend.

“I appreciate Sleep Eat Race jumping onboard for the test as our sponsor and hopefully they’ll be a part of my Daytona debut.”

For Heim who used the session to jumpstart his ARCA career embraced the opportunity to drive around the historic track. Heim won’t be able to race Daytona because of an age restriction – but will quickly return to the team controls for the second race of the year at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway in early March.

“I’m extremely grateful for Chad (Bryant) and the team allowing me to come to Daytona and get used to an ARCA car,” said Heim who will compete in 13 ARCA races this season for CBR.

“It will be a few years before I’m able to compete at Daytona – but the test offered some opportunity for me to get used to drafting on a big track and have some fun too. I was grateful to spend some time with my crew chief Paul (Andrews) and the opportunity to work together a little bit.”

For NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series competitor Parsons, 20, he utilized preseason thunder as the chance to earn his superspeedway clearance in ARCA should an opportunity arise to race at Daytona in February or Talladega in April.

“It was an amazing experience going down to Daytona and making laps at such a legendary racetrack,” said Parsons. “To be able to hit the ground running and make my first laps in the draft was great.

“Chad Bryant has built up one of the best operations in ARCA and to be able to drive one of his cars was a great privilege. I can’t thank Chad and Joe (Graf Jr.) enough for the opportunity.”

Chad Bryant Racing plans to field two cars in the 80-lap race on Feb. 9.

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire is the first of 20 events on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series schedule. The season opener will air live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace) and stay tuned for a brand new CBR website.

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