Bill McAnally Racing will be going for its sixth straight win at Irwindale Speedway when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the Southern California venue for the NAPA / ENEOS 150 on Saturday.
The event, which marks the second K&N West race of the season, will air live on FansChoice.TV – the streaming digital platform that’s slated to air the entire NASCAR regional series schedule live this year. In addition, the race is set to be televised to a national audience on NBCSN on April 3 at 3 p.m. PT.
Derek Kraus, who drives BMR’s No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, is the only one of the BMR drivers with a series start at Irwindale. The 17-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin finished fourth and 18th in twin 100-lap races at the track as a rookie in 2017.
His BMR teammates, Hailie Deegan in the No. 19 Monster Energy/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry and rookie Brittney Zamora in the No. 99 ENEOS/NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, have yet to turn a lap in K&N West competition at the half-mile track. Driving a fourth BMR entry at Irwindale will be local driver Dylan Garner, making his series debut in the No. 50 Global Emission Systems/Kooks Headers Toyota Camry.
In addition to winning the five most recent K&N West events at Irwindale, BMR has accumulated nine other victories in NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition at the state-of-the-art facility. While the team faces a big challenge in trying to add to those 14 wins, BMR brings with it plenty of momentum – having captured wins in this year’s season openers for the East and West divisions of the series.
Deegan won the first K&N West race of the year with a dramatic last-lap pass at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track last month. It marked the second career series win for the 17-year-old driver from Temecula, California; who made history last season in becoming the first female driver to win a race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. By virtue of her Vegas win, she became the first woman to lead the championship standings of a series at the regional or national level of NASCAR.
Kraus, meanwhile, won the season opener for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last month at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. He also ran strong in the K&N West race at Las Vegas, leading the most laps before coming home sixth.
Kraus and Deegan are both members of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s emerging stars.
Zamora – a 19-year-old second-generation driver from Kennewick, Washington – finished 11th in her series debut at Las Vegas.
Garner is a 20-year-old third-generation racer from Yorba Linda, California. He won rookie honors competing at Irwindale Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model division in 2016 after winning a championship there in the S-2 division in 2015.
NAPA AUTO PARTS and ENEOS, who in addition to being corporate sponsors of BMR are also both sponsoring this event, will be heavily involved with plenty of activities at Irwindale. Those in attendance will include NAPA store owners and shop owners, selected through a sales promotion with NAPA’s Los Angeles Distribution Center. Also on hand will be a large group representing NAPA Power Premium Plus, and other manufacturers from NAPA.
Guests from ENEOS will also be in attendance at the event, which marks the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race with ENEOS involved as a sponsor.
“ENEOS is delighted to return to the K&N Pro Series with Bill McAnnally Racing and Brittney Zamora. We are excited by the combination of experience and energy both parties bring and look forward to a successful 2019 season and beyond,” said Motoshi Sunami, president and CEO of ENEOS US.
The spacious hospitality area along the speedway’s midway, which is part of the VIP experience BMR has lined up for the sponsors and their guests, will be known as the ENEOS Hospitality Zone.
The VIP experience will also include rides in BMR’s two-seater No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry on Friday evening and special pit tours on Saturday.
Three different drivers contributed to BMR winning the past five consecutive series races at Irwindale, beginning with Patrick Staropoli in 2014 and Chris Eggleston in 2015. Todd Gilliland won at Irwindale as a rookie in 2016 and then swept the twin 100s that comprised a doubleheader there in 2017.
Four different drivers went to Victory Lane as BMR won eight of 11 regular season series events at Irwindale between 2001 and 2007. Brendan Gaughan swept three races at the track in 2001. Austin Cameron had three series wins there with BMR – one in 2002 and two in 2004. Steve Portenga scored a win with BMR at Irwindale in 2005 and Brian Ickler added another BMR victory in 2007. In addition, Cameron and the BMR team won the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in 2003.