Chad Bryant Racing is growing and building in a positive direction throughout their first two years as one of the top contending teams in the ARCA Menards Series. Chad Bryant and crew chief Paul Andrews are continuing on with the goals, mentality, and determination they brought to Cunnigham Motorsports while working for them up until Bryant took over the company heading into the 2018 season.
The Cunningham Motorsports era brought the 2016 ARCA Menards Championship Chase Briscoe, who is now racing the NASCAR Xfinity Series. With Chad Bryant Racing they are competing with two different prongs with one of their cars driven by second-year driver Joe Graf, Jr behind the wheel driving the No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE, Ford. The other machine is the No. 22 with drivers splitting seat time, highlighted by Ty Majeski and 16-year-old upstart Corey Heim.
Joe Graf, Jr picked up a win in his rookie season last year and is looking to build on that success on the track. His talent has been noticed as he has agreed to make several starts for Richard Childress Racing in the XFINITY Series thanks to a partnership with New York University and a marketing internship that helps him with his Sports Management degree. He also works with EAT SLEEP RACE, a lifestyle and clothing brand company making its foray into oval track racing
“They have some really cool apparel and lifestyle stuff that fits the racing industry really well,” says Joe Graf Jr. “They’ve been really big in drag racing and tuner cars for a really long time and they’re just getting into NASCAR this year. I couldn’t be happier to be the guy at the forefront of that helping them get into the industry.”
Joe Graf, Jr feels using all of that knowledge of the entire aspect of a race team, organization, and sport will help make himself an overall better driver. He sees what Chad Bryant, a driver turned owner has already done and what he can bring to the organization.
“…just learn so much of the behind the scenes stuff, the business stuff, everything that goes on outside the race car, right,” says Graf. “I’ve learned a lot over there, they’re all super nice people over there, very knowledgeable. I feel its made me a more well-rounded race car driver because everybody knows its not just what you can do in the race car now, you have to have the sponsorship piece of it, you have to present yourself in a professional manner. You have to know the marketing side of the business.”
Part of the No. 22 team is Ty Majeski, who is scheduled for six starts running the intermediate and bigger tracks. He ran fourth at Talladega Superspeedway, then won his next two starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway. The trifecta was almost complete at Michigan International Speedway where he came up just short in second to Michael Self. But at Chicagoland Speedway was able to return his No. 22 to Victory Lane for his third win of the season.
Corey Heim is the other driver of the No. 22 duo, running the short tracks based on his age and experience. He has finished in the top-five in half of his six starts with a best of fourth coming last week at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Both No. 22 drivers are under the tutelage and guidance of long-time NASCAR crew chief Paul Andrews, who also took Alan Kulwicki to a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
“I think the biggest thing is that Corey is really young,” says Majeski. “Obviously, he’s just getting started in stock cars. He’s come along way in a short amount of time, he gets better every time he hits the race track.
“There are kind of two separate programs, obviously, he’s running the short track stuff and I’m doing the intermediate stuff,” continues Majeski about splitting seat time in the No. 22. “On the intermediate side, we’ve been pretty good. We talk a lot, he’s able to pick my brain and we are able to figure out how to make our race cars better. Ultimately that’s what you want as a race team.”
With all these pieces coming together, not only is Chad Bryant Racing focused on winning another ARCA Menards Championship and developing young drivers but there’s also the potential of invading the Gander Outdoor Trucks Series in the future.