Five With The Five: Joe Graf, Jr.
Five With The Five: Joe Graf, Jr.
2019 has five different drivers competing for the championship, Travis Braden, Michael Self, Bret Holmes, Joe Graf Jr., and Christian Eckes. Come follow each of their journeys this season with our “Five With The Five” where each week we set the timer for five minuets and sit down with them to find out what’s been going on both in and out of the race car.
Next up, Joe Graf, Jr.!
ARCA: So what have you been up to since Salem?
Joe: Well I got back to Morresville Sunday night. I’ve been working out a lot this week. I had a driver debrief at Chad Bryant Racing on Tuesday where we just went over the race and stuff. It was a bummer it ended when it did. We had a mistake on pit road and it cost us four spots. So we were a little upset about that. Overall we showed speed throughout the weekend. We feel if the race had played out we would have been in good shape, just, mother nature got us.
A: Right. I think everyone was fighting that day like…do we plan to go to 101? Or do we plan for all 200?
A: So Talladega is next. And, anyone who follows I’m sure knows last year you came in second by literally millimeters I believe- or pretty close to that.
J: Well, I still have yet to see a picture that shows me behind him
A: Haha! So this year you’re going to finish first, right? That’s the plan?
J: Exactly! I just feel like Talladega owes me one. So we’ll see how it goes. It’s always a crazy race for sure. I’ve been watching some film and working with my team to come up with a plan for Talladega just to make sure we don’t have a problem that takes us out of the championship points. As we all know as drivers Daytona and Talladega are the biggest wildcards of the year. It just so happens the two biggest wildcards take place in within the first four races.
A: Yeah, you’re in the top five right now in the championship point standings. That has to feel pretty good when you’re going for a championship and only three races in.
J: Well I think we’d be a little bit better if it wasn’t for our terrible run at Daytona with that plastic bag
A: Right, like you mentioned, anything’s possible at Daytona and Talladega. Even flying plastic bags.
J: Exactly! But I’m feeling confident going into Talladega. I think it will be a really good weekend. We have some big announcements coming that weekend so really looking for to that. Our team has done a phenomenal job and they’re gonna bring a fast car. Hopefully we’ll be upfront all day.
A: What do you have planned between now and Talladega?
J: Well, this will be the first year in a long time that I’m not home for Easter. I’ll actually be in Moorsville this year so me and my spotter are planning on doing some stuff. I think we’re going to grab dinner Saturday night then go out on the lake Sunday for Easter. I’m a little bummed out I don’t get to steal my siblings Easter candy, but I think we’ll be alright.
A: Do they usually have pretty good candy?
J: Yeah so, I use to always get in trouble as a kid because I’d wake up early and eat everyones jellybeans. But I was smart! I’d wakeup before they got down there and I would eat all of theirs but leave all of the ones in mine, so I could eat the ones out of my basket later.
A:Smart! So you got your fill that morning, and then later on…
A: So what are you and your spotter going to be doing out on the lake?
J: Maybe we’ll fish a little bit…just kind of figure it out as we go.
A: What are you most excited for this 2019 ARCA season?
J: Ooh, just getting back to racing. The off-season sucks to be honest.
A: Yeah? Do you get bored?
J: Yeah, when you’re out of a race car for too long it’s never good. You get antsy.
A: You’re so use to the adrenaline now, you’re almost having withdraws?
J: Exactly! It’s terrible. I’m just excited to go back to these tracks a second or third time. Last year was my first time at, I think, all of the tracks except for Nashville. This year now that I’ve been to all of them, I'm just excited to get back to them knowing that much more and I feel like we’ll be competing for wins here shortly.
A: Perfect! And that is five minuets.