Bret Holmes is prepared to live out a dream this weekend in his home state of Alabama. The Munford, Alabama driver will make his second career ARCA Racing Series start Saturday afternoon, but this will not be an ordinary second career start. He will be strapping behind the wheel of the Bret Holmes Racing/GMS Racing No. 23 Chevy Impala at Talladega Superspeedway, the largest track in his home state.
“I’m very excited about this upcoming weekend and a little nervous at the same time. It’s hard not to be when a majority of your friends and family are going to be watching you and the race is live on TV,” said Holmes. “I can’t put into words how blessed I am to get this opportunity to race at this level and at this track. I spent seven years of my life racing on dirt across the road at Talladega Short Track and Talladega Raceway Park. I want to leave my name at the Superspeedway like I did the dirt tracks, winning races and championships.”
Holmes finished fifth in his first ever ARCA start earlier this month at Tennessee’s Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. He led laps and battled in the top five over the course of 150 laps. While Talladega presents a much bigger racing surface, Holmes feels confident heading into Saturday’s race.
“This will be the biggest track I’ve ever raced on. I’ve always raced at tracks below a mile, so nothing like 2.66 miles. I practiced at Daytona in the ARCA open test early this year and did very well adjusting to working with the draft and being as smooth as possible,” said Homes. “The race at Nashville showed me more of how the car reacts to certain situations and just being comfortable in it before this big of a race.”
One thing the 18-year-old driver will need to get comfortable with is racing in the draft. With veteran ARCA driver Grant Enfinger serving as his crew chief, Holmes hopes he will be able to adjust quickly.
“I think the biggest challenge this weekend will be missing the big one during the race and being up front close to the end to make a move to get to the lead,” said Holmes. “Obviously drafting is something I’ve had little experience with and I don’t have any teammates but I’m still confident that with Grant’s help and communicating/working with other drivers we’ll have a good day.”
Holmes’ goal for his ARCA debut was to bring home a top-five finish and he accomplished that. Now he has his sights set even higher this weekend at Talladega.
“I’d love to win the race,” said Holmes. “It would mean so much to me if I could cross the line first in front of my friends and family. Coming off of a win at Pensacola and top 5 finish in my ARCA debut at Nashville we’ll have a lot of momentum going into this race.”
Holmes’ weekend at Talladega will kick off on Friday, April 29 with practice for the General Tire 200 beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. before the green flag waves for the ARCA Racing Series General Tire 200 at 5:00 p.m. Race fans unable to watch Bret at the track can tune in to Fox Sports 1 for a live broadcast of the race.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!