Bill McAnally Racing is one of the most prominent teams in stock car racing along the West Coast. Several drivers have taken BMR entries to victory lane over the years, with many of those drivers going on to greater success at NASCAR’s highest levels.
Competing in what is now the ARCA Menards Series West, Bill McAnally Racing has 10 championships and more than 100 wins under its belt. Through that success, many successful careers have been forged, with BMR alumni leaving their imprint on the highest levels of the sport.
Perhaps Bill McAnally Racing’s most well-known success story is Brendan Gaughan. One of the first drivers to compete with BMR after McAnally vacated the race seat to become a team owner, Gaughan won back-to-back series in what was then known as the NASCAR Winston West Series in 2000 and 2001.
Gaughan won 10 races across NASCAR’s national series after graduating from BMR, with eight of those wins coming in the NASCAR Truck Series and two coming in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Gaughan was also the Truck Series’ Most Popular Driver in 2003, the same year he finished fourth in series standings after a dramatic championship battle.
Other full-time drivers who have competed for Bill McAnally Racing over the years have enjoyed success beyond the Winston West Series. Current and former NASCAR Cup Series competitors who have raced for McAnally include Christopher Bell, Clint Bowyer, Cole Custer, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe and Trevor Bayne.
Some of the sport’s rising stars also cut their teeth racing stock cars for Bill McAnally Racing. In recent years, BMR has won championships in ARCA Menards Series West with Todd Gilliland, Derek Kraus and Jesse Love, with Hailie Deegan and Riley Herbst also racing for the team in recent years.
Bill McAnally Racing alumni are not limited to the driver’s seat. Several crew members from the team have also climbed the ranks and enjoyed successful NASCAR careers.
Probably the most notable of these is Shane Wilson. Wilson was Brendan Gaughan’s crew chief for the Winston West championships in 2000 and 2001. He is now crew chief for Tanner Gray in the NASCAR Truck Series, and has wins at every level of NASCAR. Wilson won two NASCAR Cup Series races as crew chief for Clint Bowyer, as well as the 2006 NASCAR Xfinity Series title with Kevin Harvick.
The next generation of Bill McAnally Racing alumni expands in 2021, with the foundation of the BMR Drivers Academy. The BMR Drivers Academy presents an opportunity for at least 14 drivers to participate with the 10-time NASCAR and ARCA regional championship winning organization. Academy competition will encompass 40 races across 18 two-day sessions at five tracks in California that include NASCAR national series or weekly venues.
For more information on the BMR Drivers Academy, click here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo