ROSEVILLE, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2015) – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East kicks off its 2015 season with the Hart To Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150 at New Smyrna Speedway on Sunday.
Nick Drake has been counting the days, waiting for the opportunity to get back to work and begin his second season in a stock car.
The last time Drake competed in a K&N Pro Series car was at Phoenix International Raceway, where he won the K&N West season finale in November. The 19-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina is anxious to carry over momentum from that race as he gets back behind the wheel of the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota he drives for Bill McAnally Racing.
“It’s cool to sit all winter as the last person to win, but you still want to go and try and do it again,” Drake said. “It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve been in a car. I’m really looking forward to it. The NAPA Toyota should be good to go right off the truck. We’ve been getting things ready to go all winter.”
Drake took a big step when he made his series debut a year ago at New Smyrna and began his transition from open-wheel sprint cars to stock cars. Nonetheless, he came away with a 15th-place finish in the event. And despite the big learning curve he faced last year as a rookie, Drake finished in the top 10 of the championship standings for the season.
Now, he heads back with confidence as he returns to the half-mile oval in New Smyrna Beach, Florida for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener that is part of the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
“Last year I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing in a stock car,” Drake said. “I never had to rub fenders with anyone. I never raced in that type of car before. Now we have a full season under our belt and we’ve won and run up front on short tracks. We should be really good at New Smyrna. We ran decent there last year, not having any experience.”
Teaming with Drake at New Smyrna in a second BMR entry will be Anthony Kumpen, the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Champion. The 36-year-old driver from Hasselt, Belgium, will be making his debut in NASCAR racing in the United States. He will be behind the wheel of BMR’s No. 99 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Toyota.
“In addition to getting Nick’s season under way at New Smyrna, we look forward to working with Anthony in his first K&N Pro Series race,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “We anticipate a great weekend for both drivers.”
The Hart To Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150, which will be televised on NBCSN on Feb. 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET, is the first event of a 14-race schedule this season. It marks the second series visit to the speedway.
-Nick Drake Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo