For the first time since 2009, Roseville’s All American Speedway likely will decide the K&N Pro Series West championship at the season-ending Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Oct. 15.
In previous years, Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., was site of the season finale.
As the promoter of the Roseville race, Bill McAnally awards the trophies. But what if one of his four drivers wins the race, or the championship, or both? Does he pass the trophy from one hand to the other?
“That will certainly be a nice problem to have,” said McAnally. “I think I’ll figure that one out.”
Bill McAnally Racing (BMR) is having one of its finest seasons. Through eight of 14 races, rookie Todd Gilliland’s four Pro Series West victories have him atop the standings with 336 points, while teammate and defending champion Chris Eggleston is just 25 points behind in fourth place. He’s followed by Julia Landauer in sixth (294 points) and Riley Herbst in eighth (291).
“Half of the top eight are BMR drivers,” McAnally said. “That’s awesome.”
The Roseville-based racing team’s best overall finish was in 2010 when Eric Holmes won the title, Paulie Harraka was third and Moses Smith finished fourth.
Gilliland, 16, recorded his fifth victory of the season last week at the Casey’s General Store 150 in Newton, Iowa. He also won July 9 at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho, to complete his second back-to-back set of wins. He won the first two races of the season. Gilliland also has a victory in the Pro Series East at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.
Eggleston also posted back-to-back wins May 21 and June 11.
Rookies Landauer and Herbst each have three top-five finishes.
“It’s just the things we’re all doing as an organization,” McAnally said. “We’re all pulling in the same direction, and the four teams are sharing information, and the drivers are giving each other feedback all the time.”
McAnally said he looks forward to the Oct. 15 race and possibly crowning one of his drivers as the series champ for the second consecutive year. But he’s not looking past series races at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on Aug. 13 and at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., on Aug. 27 – both also called the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150.
“We (BMR) put on the show from hiring security to getting the national anthem singer lined up,” McAnally said. “I do these other shows because Toyota and NAPA want to be seen in these markets. There is nothing else like this race in the entire state of Oregon. We are the only NASCAR race in the state.”
Forni Classic set for Saturday
Auburn’s Andy Forsberg leads the region’s best 360-cubic-inch sprint car drivers into the Civil War Series’ 11th annual Mark Forni Classic at Placerville Speedway on Saturday night. Forsberg, a two-time Forni Classic winner, hopes to cash the $5,000 winner’s check.
Forsberg (1,036 points) leads Mason Moore, the 2010 Forni champ and current Placerville Speedway point leader, by just 17 points in the Civil War season standings. Forsberg seeks an unprecedented ninth Civil War Series championship.
For more information, go to placervillespeedway.com.
Rossi going backward
Nevada City native Alexander Rossi, in his first full season in IndyCar racing, has struggled a bit since winning the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Since that incredible victory in his debut at the venerable track, Rossi has averaged a 12th-place finish in the past six races. Rossi has finished 14th and 16th in his past two races, following a sixth-place effort July 10 in the Iowa Corn 300. He’s 11th in the standings.
The entire Andretti Autosport team, plus Rossi’s Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian team, is struggling, and a points championship appears unlikely with just four races remaining in the season, which concludes Sept. 18 at Sonoma Raceway.
Rau wins Division 7 drags
Sacramento’s Jim Rau guided his 1995 Ford Mustang GT to the NHRA Super Stock title July 24 at the Division 7 Finals at Sonoma Raceway.
Other locals in the finals included El Dorado Hills’ Phil Nagel, who took second in the Draggin’ Bagger Harley class, and North Highlands’ A/Fuel Shootout driver Dennis Allen, who lost by less than a tenth of a second to Tacoma, Wash., driver Drew Austin. Austin won with a 6.242 elapsed time at 221.96 mph, while Allen clocked a 6.304 at 222.33 mph.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at email@example.com or @editorwriter001.