Bill McAnally Racing, a championship team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with five series titles, has announced plans to expand into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with a multi-car effort in 2014.
BMR’s team in the K&N East will feature series rookie Nick Drake running the full schedule in the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota, while second-year driver Cole Custer will run nine events in the No. 00 NAPA/Haas Automation entry.
“We are very excited to expand BMR into the K&N Pro Series East,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “This is a great opportunity to expand the program with our partners, NAPA AUTO PARTS and Toyota. We have been able to join together a top-caliber team and look for great things in 2014 for our sponsors and fans.”
“Cole Custer displayed his potential in winning races as a series rookie and we look for that performance to continue in 2014,” McAnally said. “And we are confident that Nick Drake will make a quick transition to NASCAR following his success in open-wheel cars.”
Taking a path from open-wheel racing similar to Custer’s, Drake will compete for the rookie title in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East after racing in the USAC National Sprint Car Series in 2013. The 18-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., was the 2012 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Rookie of the Year and prior to that was the USAC Ford Focus Midget national champion in 2010 and 2011. Drake raced QMA & USAC Quarter Midgets from 2005 to 2010, winning the 2009 QMA Grand National championship.
Custer of Ladera Ranch, Calif., raced in the K&N East in 2013 as a 15-year-old rookie – capturing two wins, two poles and finishing eighth in the overall championship standings. He also had one pole in two starts in the K&N West.
Prior to competing in NASCAR’s top developmental series, Custer raced Late Model stock cars in California, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. His open-wheel racing before that was highlighted by a JR USAC Ford Focus Midget national championship in 2011. His previous racing experience included USAC Midgets, Legend cars, go-karts and Bandalero’s. He competed in QMA and USAC Quarter Midgets early in his career.
Custer is the son of Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Joe Custer, who admitted he did not anticipate how competitive his son’s team would become in its first season in the K&N East last year.
“Building a competitive effort in the K&N East came about quicker than I expected,” he said. “Now, teaming with Bill McAnally Racing is a great opportunity to continue moving forward to the next level. I’ve long admired what Bill and his staff have accomplished in the K&N West and I’m glad for the chance for this new team to join together as he expands into the K&N East.”
Matt Goslant, who served as the crew chief for Custer in his rookie season in 2013 and prior to that had led BMR’s championship team when it won the K&N West title in 2010, will head up BMR’s new K&N East program as the general manager.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work with Bill again,” Goslant said. “With what we’ve established in the K&N East, I think this is going to make a great combination. And I’m really excited to be working with NAPA again. They’re a great sponsor and I think we’re going to make them proud.”
Goslant will also serve as the crew chief on Custer’s car, while veteran crew chief Dave McCarty will call the shots as the crew chief on the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota with Drake.
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