ARCA Menards Series
ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions
Five Flags Speedway
March 9, 2019
Bret Holmes and the No. 23 Holmes ll Excavation team finished sixth under the lights at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday night. The Mooresville, N.C.-based team posted the fifth-fastest time in qualifying, placing them on the inside row for 200-lap main event. After the first initial laps around the half-mile track, Holmes remained a fixture within the top five of the running order for most of the race. Holmes moved into the third position as the first caution of the night slowed the field on lap 80. During the yellow flag, Holmes brought the No. 23 Chevrolet to the attention of the Shane Huffman-led team for right-side tires and fuel. The Munford, Ala., native was scored fourth for the ensuing green flag but was shuffled back to seventh on the restart. Holmes settled into rhythm and began working his way back into the top five and by lap 115, found himself knocking on the door of the fourth spot. The final caution of night arrived on lap 160 where Holmes pitted for four fresh tires and fuel and restarted fourth. Holmes slipped to eighth with 40 laps remaining but was able to work his way back to the sixth position before taking the checkered flag.
Start – 5th Finish – 6th Points Position – 3rd
BRET HOLMES QUOTE:
“We had a really strong car tonight. We were in the fifth spot but running lap times consistent with the leader. I think I lacked a lot on restarts. We lost some ground there and at a place like Five Flags (Speedway), they’re hard to gain back. It goes to show how important it is to get a good restart, you can easily gain or lose spots. That’s the biggest part of the race where I know I could have improved on. On that last restart, I just got too aggressive and spun the tires. I wanted to get a good restart and make up a couple of spots. That really hurt us in getting a top-five finish. I knew we had a car that could run upfront. That was our goal today, a top-five finish. After Daytona (International Speedway), we needed a top five here because we weren’t able to run as well as we wanted to at Daytona in February. Even with older tires, we were laying down fast laps. I wish we could have showed that with our finish tonight. From me not getting everything out of the car that I could have on restarts, it just held us back. The No. 23 pit crew had good stops all night. This was the first real race together as a team at a short track. We have a good baseline for the rest of the season. I’m proud of all the hard work these guys put into the car each week. I’ll remember what I learned tonight and keep it in the back of my mind for Salem (Speedway) next month.”