Perfect fits are hard to come by, but Brandon McReynolds and Bill McAnally Racing may be just that.
At just 22 years of age, McReynolds has experience beyond his years. The Mooresville, N.C., driver grew up around the sport at its highest levels with his father, Larry McReynolds, a veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief and now television analyst with FOX Sports on its NASCAR coverage. The younger McReynolds also already has experience in four different NASCAR series – NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
This season, the K&N Pro Series West is home for McReynolds in the championship-winning stable at BMR.
It’s a little weird having a race shop so far away from home, but everyone at BMR has made me feel welcome and right at home,” said McReynolds. “I’ve spent a lot of time in California here recently getting ready for this next stretch of races.”
McReynolds enters that race as a member of the 2014-15 NASCAR Next class that was introduced on April 25 in Richmond, Va. The program spotlights the sport’s emerging young stars and the well-spoken McReynolds is a good fit there, as well.
“It’s an honor to be selected for NASCAR Next,” he said. ‘I’m really looking forward to backing that up with a great season.”
Next up for the K&N Pro Series West is the Stockton 150 at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. BMR picked up back-to-back Stockton wins in 2003-04 with Austin Cameron behind the wheel and Eric Holmes drove to runner-up finishes in 2006 and 2012. While the team hasn’t been to Victory Lane in the last seven Stockton events, the bar is set pretty high for McReynolds in his track debut.
“We tested at Stockton a couple of weeks ago and that was my first time there,” he stated. “It’s pretty small and there will be lots of beating and banging. The fans will enjoy it. It’s an interesting track in that you’re running the outside of three and four and down on the bottom in one and two. You don’t have that at a lot of small tracks.”
McReynolds opened the season with an eighth-place finish at Phoenix and a fourth-place showing at Irwindale after earning his first series start from the pole, but neither he nor the team are where they need to be yet according to the driver.
“We have some great speed in the cars, but we need to work on closing the deal,” he said. “It’s still really early in the season and this is my first full-time season since 2009, so I’m still getting to where I need to be. I’m confident we’ll get there.”
The Race: The Stockton 150 is the third race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It is the third of 12 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. This is the series’ 24th visit to the Northern California facility and third in three seasons.
The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining four starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps covering 37.5 miles.
The Track: Stockton 99 Speedway was constructed in the spring of 1947 and the fifth-mile dirt track hosted its first race on May 27, 1947 as 99 Stadium. The track was paved and reconfigured to its .25-mile configuration prior to the 1948 season. The 1954 season was the first under the NASCAR banner. The first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event was hosted in 1966. The .25-mile paved oval with blended banking of up to 14 degrees in Turn 1 and Turn 2 and up to 17 degrees in Turn 3 and Turn 4 was resurfaced in 2009.
The Records: The one-lap qualifying record was set by Cameron Hayley on May 4, 2013 at 13.726 seconds (65.569 mph). The 150-lap race record was established by Dick Bown on May 13, 1972 at 40 minutes for an average speed of 56.250 mph.
STOCKTON RACE NOTES
Looking For First: Greg Pursley (No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford) leads active series drivers with 18 career wins, but in three trips to Stockton 99 his best finish was fourth during the 2012 season. The former series champion finished 10th a season ago.
Back In The Fold: After taking a season off to concentrate on school, Jessica Brunelli (No. 88 Pick-n-Pull Chevrolet) competed in the Irwindale event and finished 18th. She scored her first K&N West top-10 finish (9th) at Stockton in 2012.
Busy Stretch: After a six-week break following the Irwindale event, the K&N Pro Series West has a busy month in May. After the Stockton 150 on May 3, teams will travel to the nation’s heartland for the first of two combination events with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Then, they jump right back into action the next week on May 24th at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif.
Home Tracks Update: NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at Stockton 99 Speedway is underway for 2014. Michael Regelman has the early advantage in the Grand American Modified division while Matt Scott and Matthew Wendt have jumped out to the points lead in the Western Late Model and Super Stock divisions, respectively. Mark Borges and Joseph Reichmuth are tied atop the Pure Stock standings.
LAST TIME OUT: NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway
Rookie Patrick Staropoli earned his first NASCAR win by leading the final 14 laps of the race. The Harvard graduate from Plantation, Fla., beat veterans David Mayhew and Greg Pursley to the line.
• Brandon McReynolds scored his first K&N Pro Series West pole award and finished the race in fourth.
• Brett Thompson led 102 laps which is 22 circuits more than he had led in his series career.
• Staropoli, McReynolds and Ryan Partridge also led laps in the race and all three were out front for the first time in their series careers.
NEXT TIME OUT: Casey’s General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway
Bragging rights will be on the line on Saturday, May 17 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. It’s the first of two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/K&N Pro Series West combination events in the nation’s Heartland this season alongside the NASCAR Nationwide Series. A year ago in this event, Michael Self represented the K&N West and won to end a K&N East stronghold at the .875-mile oval. Dylan Kwasniewski finished second and was the top-finishing East driver while Brett Moffitt was third.