ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Three Bill McAnally Racing drivers were in contention for the win when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West kicked off its season eight months ago at Phoenix International Raceway.
All three drivers – Cole Custer, Brandon McReynolds and Nick Drake – will be back at the one-mile track in the Valley of the Sun as the series returns to close out its season with the Casino Arizona 100 on Thursday, Nov. 6. The trio will be joined by Chris Eggleston in a fourth BMR entry.
Custer took the win in February, after grabbing the pole and leading 62 of 80 laps in the No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS/HAAS Automation entry. Drake finished third in the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. It appeared McReynolds and his No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota would give BMR a podium sweep at Phoenix, but while running second late in the race he was caught up in an incident when a lapped car blew a tire. He recovered to finish eighth.
Custer’s victory was the start of a record-setting season for the 16-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California. After racing a full season as a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2013, he competed in select events in the East and West divisions of the K&N Pro Series this year. In addition to his win at PIR in February, Custer scored a K&N East victory at Richmond (Virginia) International Raceway in April.
A member of the NASCAR Next program, Custer has also raced a limited schedule this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – where with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September he became the youngest winner in NASCAR national series history. In June, he had become the youngest driver to win a pole in the truck series. In addition to the victory and two poles, he has five top-10 finishes in eight starts in that series.
In the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Custer has three wins, two poles, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 21 career starts. Two of his four career starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, meanwhile, were at Phoenix – where in addition to his win he has two poles. In last year’s season finale at PIR, Custer dominated – winning the pole and leading 49 of 50 laps before contact from another car relegated him to a sixth-place finish.
McReynolds, also a NASCAR Next driver, heads to Phoenix looking to extend his string of nine consecutive top-five finishes while wrapping up his first full season in the K&N West. The 23-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina is third in the championship standings – with two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 13 starts this year. He has two career-best second-place finishes this season.
Drake, who also hails from Mooresville, graduated from Lake Norman High School in June. As a rookie in the K&N East this year, the 18-year-old made the transition from racing open-wheel sprint cars on dirt. He finished the season 10th in the overall K&N East championship standings with one pole, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 16 starts. His career-best series finish of second came in May in the K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway.
Eggleston, who had just one start in a K&N West race prior to this season, made a big splash in his series return in July with a win at Colorado National Speedway – the first of three races slated this year for the 25-year-old from Erie, Colorado. He will be in the No. 25 H2O Fire Protection/NAPA Filters Toyota at Phoenix.
Custer, who is also entered in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix, and Eggleston are two of four drivers to win a K&N West race for BMR this year. The other two were Patrick Staropoli at Irwindale Speedway and Christian PaHud at All American Speedway.
The Casino Arizona 100, which will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on Nov. 16 at Noon ET, is part of a big NASCAR weekend at PIR that will also include the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.