Auburn University junior Holmes mixing school and racing; files Nashville entryMarch 13, 2018
TOLEDO, Ohio (March 13, 2018) -- The off-season is defined in a million different ways; for fulltime Auburn University student and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards veteran Bret Holmes, it's a balance between school books and race shops. Only thing is…the school's in Auburn, Alabama and the shop's in Statesville, N.C. That's about an 800-mile round trip.
"I live right off campus. I'm usually in school most of the week, and I try and get to the race shop when I can," said Holmes.
Holmes is currently enjoying some downtime at Orange Beach (Ala.)
"Right now it's spring break. I'll spend some time here in the family condo for a few days…leaving Wednesday and heading up to the shop for three or four days. But typically, unless it's a holiday or a week off, I'm in school through the week."
Holmes is currently a junior in pursuit of his bachelor's degree in Building Science.
"It's going better…it gets better every semester. The more I get into my major the more understandable and interesting it gets. I find myself trying a lot harder."
With race season about to ratchet up, Holmes' schedule is also about to get a little more complicated. As his "professional co-op program" gets going at school, Holmes will be mixing in 15-16 credit hours this summer and fall.
"That's going to be tough…just look at June. There are five ARCA races in June alone and I think most of them are all during the week."
The guys back at the shop, including General Manager Nic Moncher and Crew Chief Ben Leslie, are working hard to prepare ARCA cars for the full-pull ahead. Like several teams, the Bret Holmes Racing crew had to rebuild their speedway car after getting caught up in a crash at Daytona.
"We had to put a front clip on it…get the motor checked. We still need to put it back together. The guys are also putting both Nashville cars together. We had a great run at Daytona…started from the back, came up to the top-5…showed how strong we are."
Holmes hopes to demonstrate the team's strength again in the next show, the Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Saturday, April 7.
"We're going to be testing Nashville…same day as Venturini Motorsports and Mason Mitchell Motorsports, maybe a few other ones."
Holmes made his ARCA debut at Nashville in 2016, where he qualified 2nd and finished 5th.
Holmes also says he plans to do some dirt late model racing this summer. For that, it's a commute back home to his shop in Munford, Alabama.
"We plan to run the dirt late model at the end of March. We'd like to do four or five races this year. We're going to try and run the Talladega Short Track Friday and Saturday night, same weekend as the ARCA race at Talladega. Right now, just looking forward to getting back to Nashville. We feel like we'll have something for 'em."
ARCA Nashville Fairgrounds Roots go back to 1959
Three-time ARCA national champion Nelson Stacy was ARCA's inaugural winner at Nashville in 1959. Other notable race winners/champions at Nashville include Jack Bowsher (ARCA champion), Don White (USAC Stock Car champion), Harold Smith (ARCA champion), Ramo Stott (ARCA champion), Moose Myers (ARCA champion), Marvin Smith (ARCA champion), David Green (NASCAR Xfinity champion) and 2015 ARCA champion Grant Enfinger. Chad Finley won last year's Music City 200. Other ARCA winners at Nashville include Andy Hampton, Red Farmer and Coo Coo Marlin, all of whom were track champions in their own locales. Nineteen-time ARCA winner Bob Schacht won three consecutive at Nashville in 1981, ’82 and ’83.
Hauler parking and Super Late Model practice is scheduled for Friday, April 6, while all racing festivities are set for Saturday, April 7 with practice beginning at 12 noon with qualifying following at 3 p.m. Racing begins at 5:45. General admission presale tickets are available for a $5 per ticket discount at https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1138614&store=17617 or by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
By: Don Radebaugh