ROSEVILLE, Calif. – In his first full season of competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Brandon McReynolds has been one of the most consistent top finishers on the circuit.
The 23-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina has had eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the first 10 races – driving the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing.
He will attempt to continue that performance when the series returns to Kern County Raceway Park near Bakersfield, California on Saturday, Aug. 30. The race marks the second series visit this season to the beautiful high-banked, half-mile track that opened last year.
“One thing I’m really proud of is the consistency we have on our NAPA Toyota,” said McReynolds, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars. “Week in and week out, no matter whatever situation comes our way, we seem to always run second, third, fourth, fifth – whatever it may be. A lot of times, that consistency is hard to get. That’s one of the things we’ve had.”
While pleased with finishing up front in nearly every race, McReynolds is still hungry for his first victory, however.
“The biggest thing I look forward to is getting that first win,” he said. “I think that’s really important, especially with only four races to go.”
McReynolds, who is coming off a career-best second-place finish at Evergreen Speedway, finished fourth at KCRP in May. He hopes to build on that performance in returning there.
“I’m really excited to go to a track for the second time,” he said. “I really like Bakersfield. It’s got a lot of grip. I think we learned a lot from the race we ran there earlier this year.”
McReynolds knows, meanwhile, that the competition will be tough again.
“These guys know their short tracks really well,” he said, pointing in particular to veteran drivers Greg Pursley and David Mayhew. “They have so much experience at these places. So when you show up, even if you’re on your game 110 percent, they know one more little thing about the race track than you. Those guys are really good at what they do.”
McReynolds is third in the championship standings, 31 points out of first and just six points behind second. He has won two Coors Light Pole Awards this year.
After racing on a limited basis in recent years, running a full schedule this season has taken some adjustment, according to McReynolds.
“It’s taken me a little bit of time to get acclimated to racing as much as I have this year,” he said. “I know that sounds kind of strange, but going from only running four or five races the last three or four years at most throughout one season, you definitely pick up on things you miss out on running a part-time schedule going back full time racing.”
Saturday’s race is the 11th event on a 14-race series schedule. It will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET.