If one were to take a good look at the entry lists for SpeedFest 2016 at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia this weekend, they’d notice the No. 2 of Bret Holmes on both the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour lists. That isn’t a typo, nor is it a rare occurrence for the driver out of Munford, Alabama to pull double-duty at big Late Model events throughout the country.
“We usually pull double-duty at bigger races like this,” Holmes told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I think it just helps me because I’m getting more track time. Like Winchester my first time up there. I got more laps running both classes. That’s like an hour or two more of track time under my belt before I go and run two races. I think from a driver’s standpoint it helps because you’re getting your line down and and getting more laps under your belt.”
Even though Holmes has raced at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) twice before with a best finish of fifth, he still wants as much seat time as possible. Seat time is a young driver’s best friend. That’s a big reason why Holmes and his team were in Georgia this past Sunday afternoon turning laps around the 1/3-mile D-shaped oval.
“We tested both cars there and I think we made a lot of strides with the Super Late Model,” he said. “In our Pro Late Model we were strong right off the trailer. I’m pretty confident that we’ll run well in both races.”
But while Holmes said he may be confident, he also said he’s trying to be as realistic as possible about both races. He believes that he can win the Pro Late Model event, but the same cannot be said for the 200-lap Super Late Model race.
“You want to go into every race saying you can win it and you want to win it, and of course we do, but you have to have realistic goals and go step-by-step,” Holmes said. “We haven’t had the greatest finishes in a Super Late Model. That’s why I’m not saying, ‘We’re going to win’ when we haven’t won a race yet. But we’re going to do the best we can anyway. But our realistic goal is to go win that Pro Late Model race, hop in the other car and get ourselves a top five.”
While double-duty is something that Holmes has done so frequently, SpeedFest may be one of the last times fans get to see Holmes run two races in one weekend for quite a while, at least in a Late Model that is.
Holmes said he and his team have purchased all of 2015 ARCA Racing Series champion Grant Enfinger’s ARCA equipment from GMS Racing with plans to run close to eight ARCA races in 2016.
“It’s a way for me to kind of slide into the series and take baby steps with it,” he said. “We didn’t want to do a full season until we were comfortable with it. We’re going to start at Nashville, Talladega, Winchester, Salem, Berlin and Lucas Oil. We’ll have a couple intermediate and superspeedway races, but mainly short track races where I’ve been before in a Late Model.”
He also explained that the GMS Racing team will be helping him out at each ARCA race he attends this year.
“They’re going to help us out with setup work for us and stuff like that and helping us at the track,” he said. “They’re moving on to Trucks so we’re going to work around their schedule. When they aren’t running trucks we’ll do some ARCA races. The deal worked out for us. They have championship equipment and now I have guys with a championship under their belts helping me out. It’s just about me progressing as a driver into the ARCA stuff.”
So while Holmes begins the transition over to stock cars, he will be running the Late Models with less frequency. But when he does run the Late Model, you can bet on him running double-duty just like this weekend at SpeedFest.
“We won’t get to run our Late Model as much as we did last year, but those races that we do get to we’ll try our best to do double-duty,” said Holmes. “You don’t get much of a break, but I love doing double-duty all the time.”
Race fans can watch Holmes race in both the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model events from SpeedFest live with Speed51 TV’s pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com on Sunday, January 31. Order a live video ticket for $27.99 today by clicking here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com