Roseville’s Bill McAnally Racing hopes to capitalize on last year’s success and an improving economy by fielding two full-time K&N Pro Series West teams, a full-time K&N Pro Series East car and another car that will have several promising young drivers for select races.
“It’s the 25th anniversary of our sponsorship deal with NAPA Auto Parts, which is unheard of in motor sports,” McAnally said. “Richard Petty’s deal with STP went 29 years. Jeff Gordon’s affiliation with DuPont has only been around 21 years, so what better way to celebrate the anniversary with NAPA than to go out and win some championships for them?”
Brandon McReynolds and Chris Eggleston will drive in the West Series. McReynolds, the son of NASCAR TV analyst Larry McReynolds, finished fourth in the K&N Pro Series West last season. Eggleston started three West Series races for BMR last season and won at Colorado National Speedway.
Nick Drake, the East Series driver, finished eighth in Sunday’s season opener at New Smyrna Speedway, near Daytona Beach, Fla.
Cole Custer, Trevor Bayne and 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Anthony Kumpen will share driving duties for the fourth BMR car. Kumpen finished 14th at New Smyrna Speedway on Sunday in his first oval track appearance. The Whelen Euro Series races on road course circuits much like Formula 1.
“We’ve found some great young talent for this season,” McAnally said. “We’ve secured some new funding, and we’re ready to go.”
Shasta Speedway has been added to the West Series schedule, giving California tracks five of the 13 races in the series. The other four are Irwindale Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, Roseville’s All American Speedway and Kern County Raceway Park, which hosts the season opener March 28.
Local karter competes at Daytona – The karting track at famed Daytona International Speedway anually hosts some of the top kart racers. Jim White of Foothill Farms was third overall and second in the unlimited class at the annual World Karting Association Road Race Championships in December.
“We ran the same track layout as the (Rolex) 24 at Daytona, and that includes Turns 3 and 4 of the big track where the NASCAR drivers run,” said White, 55. “The first time on the banking, I was screaming like a little girl the whole way around. As I came out of Turn 4 into the tri-oval, I got a tear in my eye seeing the stands and the ‘DAYTONA’ painted on the wall. But man, at 120 mph, I only got three-quarters of the way up to the wall. Those NASCAR guys go about 185 right next to the wall up there. But then again, they have a lot more protection, and it’s not their equipment.”
White and friend and fellow karter Kerry Matthews almost didn’t get to Florida in time for the Dec. 27-29 races. While traveling through Sonora, Texas, a front-wheel bearing froze on Christmas Eve, but several residents came to their aid and got them back on the road. On the return trip, an ice storm through the same part of central Texas gave White the most harrowing driving experience of his life.
White and Matthews, who finished fifth in the 125cc class, said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to drive on the famed Daytona track, which hosts the Daytona 500 on Sunday. And they already are planning a return trip in December, though White said they will try to avoid Texas.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at email@example.com or @editorwriter001.