Donoho School graduate Bret Holmes scored his first ARCA Menards Series victory this weekend as he took the Dawn 150 at Kansas Superspeedway.
Holmes had finished in the top 10 five straight times before finishing in Victory Lane for the first time in 69 ARCA starts.
“I’ve been working my whole life for this,” said Holmes, 23, a Munford native who is a building science major at Auburn University, where he has just one semester remaining 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.
“The confidence slowly built when we kept getting those really good runs,” said Holmes who was third 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.
Holmes began racing in the ARCA Series in 2016. Before that, he raced at Talladega Short Track.