STATESVILLE, N.C. (March 28, 2017) – The 2017 Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation will be more than just another race for ARCA rookie sensation, Bret Holmes. The 200-lap event at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville will mark the one-year anniversary since Holmes debuted in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards at the same Tennessee half-mile oval track.
One year ago, Holmes, a relatively unknown late-model driver from Munford, Alabama came into the series in a big way — breaking the track record at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in his first qualifying attempt. His record was later barely outdone by 2016 ARCA Racing Series Champion, Chase Briscoe, but nonetheless, a statement was made.
Holmes would go on to qualify second and finish fifth after leading six laps in that race; letting it be known that he would be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
Since his debut in April 2016, Holmes has racked up an impressive seven top-10 finishes and 3-top five runs with his latest start at Daytona resulting in a sixth-place finish that earned him the SCOTT Rookie of the Race honors.
Ironically, in Holmes series debut in Nashville last season, the Alabama native also won rookie honors, which started his impressive run in the series.
“It hasn’t felt like it’s been a year since I made my debut at Nashville,” Holmes said. “We were so new to the series when we rolled into the fairgrounds last year, and it is amazing to see how far we’ve come. I know on a personal level, I have developed tremendously as a driver since last spring.”
Holmes and his team spent the majority of last Wednesday in Nashville testing, which led to two very positive outcomes. First, the team overcame a minor mechanical issue which stalled the teams’ efforts for a small portion of the test. By dealing with that problem in a timely fashion, Holmes and the team now feel more confident in their abilities to quickly find, diagnose and fix any problems that might arise during the season with the No.23 Holmes II Excavation/Southern States Bank Chevy.
“We were worried when we first discovered there was a mechanical problem in the car early at the test,” Holmes said. “Bryan (Berry) and the team were quick to find out what the issue was and fix it. This was big for us because last season we had similar issues that were not solved as quickly. I think we are really starting to work together as a group, and that to me could be the difference in us winning and losing this season.”
The second outcome of the test was the overall satisfaction with the No.23 and its abilities to be a dominant car in the Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation on April 8th.
“The car is right where we think it needs to be,” Holmes said. “It is the same piece from last season, and that was already a car capable of winning. This year, we have had tremendous technical support from GMS Racing, which I think has allowed for an even better car this year.”
Holmes was only a set of fresh General Tires away from contending for the win last season in Nashville after the event went caution free for the final half of the race. That lack of a pit-stop caused the grip levels to become too little for the Auburn University student to make any push towards the lead as the laps wound down. This year, hopefully, luck will be on his side.
“We were so close to winning last time, and if we could have gotten some new tires, we could have been right there at the end,” Holmes said. “We just need a little luck on our side this time. If we can get that, I am very confident that we could be in Victory Lane by the end of the night.”
The Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation will be shown Live on MAVTV — April 8th — starting at 8 p.m. (CT).
For more on Bret Holmes, please visit his new website at www.bretholmes.com or “like” him on Facebook (@bretholmesracing). Follow him on Twitter (@bretholmes_2).
About Bret Holmes Racing: Bret Holmes Racing is an Alabama-based ARCA racing team that operates out of Munford, AL and Statesville, N.C. while still holding true to its traditional southern roots. Founded by Stacy Holmes of Holmes II Excavation in Munford, we stick to our good nature and solid values to put the best product on and off the track with our driver Bret Holmes.