Friday was the dawning of a new day for Munford, AL, native Brett Holmes. The 23-year old, who was taking part in his 69th career race, recorded his first victory in the ARCA Menards Series as he took the checkered flag in the Dawn 150 at Kansas Speedway.
Holmes’ win came on the heels of five straight top-10 finishes, including four in the top-four and a previous career-best second-place showing on July 11 at Kentucky. It’s been a long time coming for Holmes, who began his ARCA career in 2016 at just 19 years of age after having tons of success across the southeast in lower racing divisions.
“I’ve been working my whole life for this,” said Holmes, a Building Science Major at Auburn University, who has just one semester left before graduating. “My team did this for me. It’s been a long, tough road. I can’t thank my friends and my family enough. They believed in me when I didn’t. It was well worth the wait. I’m so happy. It’s awesome. I’m tired as hell. We’re going to keep our head down and get some more."
Holmes, in his family-owned No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet, showed he would be a factor in the race after setting the tone by being the fastest in practice. The starting lineup was set by owner’s points with Riley Herbst sitting on the pole.
Holmes, who started fourth, took the lead from Herbst on lap 19 and was in charge the rest of the way, leading the final 82 of the 100 laps (150 miles). He finished ahead of runner-up, rookie Ryan Repko, by more than 14 seconds with Herbst third, followed by Corey Heim and Tanner Gray. Now that he knows what it takes to win, Holmes is convinced there is more to come.
“The confidence slowly built when we kept getting those really good runs,” said Holmes who had a solid third-place effort at Talladega in June. “It’s tough being an underdog and battling those big guys. Now I’m just going to keep my head down and get some more.”
With his win, Holmes now stands second in the championship battle with 317, trailing only Michael Self (336), who was sixth Friday night. He finished third in the title chase a year ago.
Drew Dollar, who won the General Tire 200 at Talladega last month, was seventh, followed by Derek Griffith, Hailie Deegan and Thad Moffitt. For the entire order of finish and the championship point standings, visit www.arcaracing.com.
The ARCA Menards Series heads home to Ohio’s Toledo Speedway for a unique doubleheader next weekend. The Menards.com 200 presented by SPxE will be Friday, followed by the Menards 200 presented by Crosley Brands on Saturday. Both races will air live on MAVTV and stream online on TrackPass on NBC Gold.
(Courtesy: Release - Talladega Superspeedway / Video - Fox Sports)