By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Out is Gray Gaulding and in comes Joe Graf, Jr. as he’ll pilot the No. 08 Chevrolet Camaro full-time in the Xfinity Series for SS Green Light Racing.
The former ARCA Menards Series winner will have sponsorship backing from EAT SLEEP RACE on his car as he’s thrilled of having an opportunity to drive the Bobby Dotter owned team which finished 13th in points last year with Gaulding.
“To be racing full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series is super cool. My boys at EAT SLEEP RACE are really pumped and I am looking forward to having them back on the car,” Graf said
“Bobby (Dotter) and Patrick (Donahue) prepare solid cars. To have the chance to get into a competitive race car for a full season is exactly what I need to continue developing at this level. My goal is to learn as much as possible, contend for strong finishes and maybe even earn a berth into the Xfinity Series Playoffs. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m eager for the challenge and am ready to get to Daytona and getting the season underway.”
Although Graf’s brief tenute in NXS has been up and down with three starts with Richard Childress Racing (18.6 average finish) and two DNQs (one with Kaulig Racing), Dotter is confident that Graf can deliver and with help from Donahue, sky’s the limit for the New York University sophomore student.
“I’ve been watching Joe for a little while now, especially when he ran a few NASCAR Xfinity Series races last season and I’ve seen he’s eager to learn and perform,” Dotter said. “This is a big step for him, but he is determined to put the effort in and have a good rookie season.
“With Patrick’s leadership and the strength that our team has shown in recent seasons, there’s no reason that we can’t go out there and do the same with Joe in 2020. I’m looking forward to getting the year started.”
Graf will continue his marketing and communications internship in 2020, explaining how much he’s learned from RCR thus far.
“I learned a lot as an intern at Richard Childress Racing last season,” Graf said. “The opportunity to work with a lot of talented people on so many levels not only from an internship perspective but as well as a driver was such an eye-opening experience. I’m grateful to continue my internship in 2020 with Richard Childress Racing and continue developing as a driver.”
Graf will make his debut with the No. 08 team at Daytona International Speedway for the running of the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 February 15.