Weekly Check in: Joe Graf talks RCR, Xfinity Debut, and Shoes

Weekly Check in: Joe Graf talks RCR, Xfinity Debut, and Shoes

2019 has five different drivers competing for the championship, Michael Self, Travis Braden, Bret Holmes, Joe Graf Jr., and Christian Eckes. Come follow each of their journeys this season 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:
You guys are heading down to Toledo soon, I imagine?


J:
We're going down Friday. I have an RCR thing Thursday night, so I'll drive out Friday.

A:
Gotcha. What kind of prep have you been up to since you've announced that you'll soon be racing in the Xfinity Series?

J:
Well there's been a lot of stuff going on. We're really starting to get into it hard here. We're doing a little bit of simulator time, pit stop practice over there at RCR. They got me the spotter tapes from the races I'm running in from the past year, so I can listen to the tapes from the race to see how they usually go. They got me different kinds of film, different kinds of data from the cars. Just anything I could look over to try to prepare myself better for my debut.

A:
Are there any nerves or anything, or are you just excited to try something new?

J:
I'm really grateful for the opportunity. Definitely excited to get in the car and show them what I can do. Learn a lot, and just really take the next step in my career.

A:
Awesome, and how's the internship going?

J:
It's been going really well! It's almost over now, but I'll be over there still a lot during the summer months, but the actual internship is actually almost over. I'm handing in my last final tomorrow for NYU.

A:
That must feel good!


J:
Yeah, it definitely feels really good! I've been really, really busy for the last... Really since January. So it'll be good to get about a day and a half to breathe before we have this 13 race stretch.

A:
Right, quite a summer break, man.

J:
Yeah.

A:
We had this weekend off, did you do anything exciting? Or did you just take the time to relax?

J:
Just hung out. I've been working on my final a lot this weekend, so I didn't really do too much. Just, it was the first Mother's day in a little while I didn't get to go home and see my mom. So that was a little tough, but it was all right. Just working on school and racing down here. Getting ready for Toledo, we tested there on Friday. It felt like we had a pretty good piece. Ran really good there last year, we ended up third. Hopefully going back we could turn it into a win.

A:
Definitely. Definitely. So anyone that follows you knows you are a big shoe collector. Any new ones that you are excited about?

J:
Yeah, I've got some new Jordan 1s that I'll be breaking out at the track the next couple of weeks. I'm not going to tell you guys what I'll  be bring to the track, but definitely been getting some new pieces.

A:
I see, going to leave us in suspense. How did that start? Did you just, one at a time, then you realized you had a whole collection, or just something you've always enjoyed?

J:
I was into it in high school. Me and my friends were pretty into it. And being at NYU I actually walk past Flight Club every day on my way to class in New York City. So I ended up in there a lot, and then all the guys over at Eat Sleep Race are really into the culture of it all. So I talk to them about it a lot, we just talk about some different pieces. Me and Brian over has similar taste with a lot of them.

A:
Awesome. So at this point just a few days before a race, what kind of things are going through your head? Are you just checking out boxes of things you need to do? Or is it just excitement, nerves?

J:
Just preparing as much as I can. I still got a lot of stuff going on at RCR this week. I talked to Chad a little bit today, we're going to go over the tests and stuff and just prepare as much as we can for the race this weekend. I'll watch the film from the races of the last couple of years, but I was at RCR, I'm at RCR tomorrow. I'm there Wednesday, then I have a cocktail reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with them on Thursday night. Then I'll leave for Toledo, probably Friday around noon.

A:
Well that's been five minutes so I'll let you get back to your night. Appreciate you chatting with me.

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