STATESVILLE, N.C. (June 13, 2017) – Bret Holmes is still looking to find consistency in his 2017 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards season after a speeding penalty put a humdrum 14th-place finish on what should have been another solid race for the Munford, Ala., native and his No. 23 Southern States Banks Chevy at Pocono on Friday.
After qualifying 15th, Holmes felt like he was making solid progress through the field as he pierced the top-10 before coming down pit road on lap 20 for green flag pit stops.
But as fate would have it, just as Holmes pulled back onto the track, ARCA officials let the team know that the No. 23 had sped through the final segment of pit road and would need to come back for a pass-through penalty.
Holmes would try to gain the lap back that was lost with the penalty, but with only one caution during the race, this task became too tall for the rookie driver.
“I just can’t make mental mistakes like that when we are competing for a championship week in and week out,” Holmes said. “I thought we really beat ourselves at Pocono, and that was mostly on me, but we live to fight another day, and hopefully Michigan can bring us the consistency that we’ve been needing.”
Holmes is staying optimistic on what has been already an up and down season so far.
Through seven races this season, Holmes has an average starting spot of 11.0 and an average finishing spot of 12.9. These numbers, in Holmes mind, do not correlate to what has actually been going on performance-wise with the team.
“The numbers don’t really mean anything to me other than we need to start and finish better,” Holmes said. “We just really need consistent top-5 and top-10 runs right now to get back in the hunt. We all just have to keep grinding it out, and I think we will breakthrough very soon.”
The first race Holmes and the No. 23 team can start their march towards consistency will be this Friday in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Mich., as the ARCA Racing Series makes the quick turnaround and heads to Michigan International Speedway for the Corrigan Oil 200.
MIS will be another first-time track for the Alabama-based driver as he looks to once again expand his racing pedigree at the 2.0-mile D-shaped oval.
“I think Michigan is a really cool place, especially for its size,” Holmes said. “There won’t be many cars there, and I think if we stay out of trouble, we will be able to bring home a solid finish.”
Holmes will arrive at the track sixth in the driver points standings, 340 points off leader Austin Theriault. He is also currently six points back in the SCOTT Rookie Challenge rankings behind Gus Dean.
“It has been a running trend this season; if we stay out of trouble and away from penalties, we can finish well,” Holmes said. “We just need to keep our nose clean this week and get back in the hunt. That is all we are focusing on right now.”
The on-track action begins Thursday with practice from 1-3 p.m. General Tire Pole Qualifying starts at 1:40 p.m. Friday. The Corrigan Oil 200 is scheduled to get underway Friday at 6 with live coverage on FS1. ARCAracing.com will provide live timing, scoring and chat.
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.