Bret Holmes prepares to make his ARCA Racing Series debut this weekend at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Holmes will pilot the No. 23 Bret Holmes Racing/GMS Racing machine. The machine gives Holmes a boost of confidence as he will drive the exact car that went to victory lane in last year’s race.
“There’s a lot of pressure on me to perform well in this race even though it’s my debut, “explained Holmes, who is a student at Auburn University. “We are coming with 2015 ARCA Champion Grant Enfinger, who won this race last year in the same car. Although there’s a lot of pressure, I’m confident in myself going into this race. We turned very fast times in testing a few weeks back and working jointly with GMS for the first time went smoothly.”
There might not be a better track for Holmes to enter his first ARCA race. Between his Pro Late Model and Super Late Model racing, the 18 year-old has competed at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville more than ten times during the past few years and brought home solid finishes in the 2015 All American 400 and Southern Super Series events.
“I’ve raced Nashville 11 times now in late models. With a 6th place finish in the All American 400 last year and a 7th place finish with the Southern Super Series last year, I have a lot of experience there knowing the line and how to pass,” said Holmes.
While Holmes hopes his past Nashville experience will help his learning curve as he climbs into the bigger, heavier ARCA cars, he knows there will still be challenges. The Munford, AL driver hopes he can adjust throughout the weekend and become a quick learner throughout the 150-lap event.
“I think the biggest learning curve for my first race will be the tire fall-off in the ARCA car compared to late models,” said Holmes. “The tires on ARCA cars fall off quicker than they do on the late model and you have to back up your corner entry more than anything. I got adjusted to that when we did some race runs during our test a few weeks ago and I think I’m ready for it.”
Holmes, who has a few races under his belt already this year in both his Super Late Model and Pro Late Model, believes he can put together a strong run with the GMS Team and hopes a strong finish this weekend can help turnaround a rough start to his 2016 campaign.
“I’m looking for a top 5 out of this weekend honestly. We know we have the best stuff and the best peephole you could ask for going into the race. There’s no reason we should finish any less than that. We’ve had a struggle to begin this year with mechanical issues in three out of five races and I think this is a good chance to get the ball rolling again to pick up momentum for our team.”