The first time was a success, so why not do it again? Brad Perez, who made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut by finishing 20th at Watkins Glen in the No. 35 Emerling-Gase Motorsports entry, will return to the team to make his second-career NXS start in the Drive For the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
Perez, 25, will have sponsorship from his longtime partner GreenTech Energy. As a part of the partnership, GreenTech will be adding the names of fans, who go to their website and sign up for a free quote, to the decklid of the No. 35 car.
Additionally, GreenTech will also giveaway two hot passes for a 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
But had Perez, who failed to make his debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, not found a way to run Watkins Glen last month, this start at the Roval would not be happening.
“That’s something that we worked on for quite a bit,” Perez explained to TobyChristie.com. “The thing that was needed was getting approved. [According to NASCAR rules] I cannot make my debut in the Playoffs, even though I have run that track before in the Miatas.
“So, if I didn’t make the race at Watkins Glen, that would have set off a domino effect that would have made it where I couldn’t run this race. It was really relying on me making the race at Watkins Glen.”
Joining primary sponsor GreenTech on the car as associate sponsors will be Shenandoah Shine, Unitas Construction, Victory Sim and Weiss Sand & Clay LP.
Perez says while his top-20 finish at Watkins Glen opened a lot of eyes, that it was his goal going into that race weekend.
“That was the goal. I always try to set for those deals like that, I know the car can do so much better,” Perez said. “So, for me, knowing that I can accomplish a good finish by being smart and taking care of the equipment. That’s kind of the goal. I feel like once I get there talent-wise and experience-wise definitely can go for it.”
While 20th was an impressive debut, Perez feels like he has a chance to finish even stronger at the Roval.
“Me and the crew chief Rick [Bourgeois] know each other pretty well now. I think it’s a good fit,” Perez explained. “We have a good team. We’ll have full tires, that’s going to happen. I did not have full tires at Watkins Glen. These are the little things that I think I can do a better job. If I keep it together we can have a good race.”
While Perez will have a full allotment of sticker tires at the Roval, there are questions about whether he’ll have the necessary yellow rookie stripes on his back bumper.
For those who may have missed it, the No. 35 team forgot to include the yellow stripes to the rear bumper in Perez’s NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Watkins Glen.
Perez shared the story in a hilarious set of Tweets on September 6th:
i promise it was an accident we literally forgot to put them on pic.twitter.com/bWMI7hyRd1
— bread perez (@bradxperez) September 6, 2022
Perez believes the rookie stripes will be on the car when he hops back into it in October, but he kind of liked the benefit of not having them last time around.
“I would hope the wrap company remembers,” Perez joked. “I’m not going to blame the wrap company. I actually said it in the shop, I was like, ‘I think this thing needs rookie stripes,’ they were like, ‘Oh, we’ll put them on at the track,’ and they never went on. Which is great, people probably thought it was Parker [Kligerman] in that car.”
Brad Perez and the rest of the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will be in action at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval for the Drive For the Cure 250 on Saturday, October 8th. The race will be broadcast on NBC and television coverage will begin at 3:00 PM ET.