ROSEVILLE, Calif. – In his first full season of competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Brandon McReynolds has faced the challenge of visiting most tracks on the circuit for the first time.
Nevertheless, the driver of the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and his Bill McAnally Racing Team have found success in the first half of the season – recording one pole, four top fives and five top 10s in six starts this season.
His experience in adapting as a newcomer to a race track may benefit McReynolds this week, as the series heads to Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho for the NAPA AUTO PARTS/Toyota 150 on Saturday.
The high-banked quarter-mile Idaho oval has only hosted two series events – the first one being in 1974 and the second one in 1985. Consequently, nearly all the drivers will also be competing in their first series race at the track on Saturday.
“It’s definitely been a challenge going to race tracks that you’ve never been to before and race against (Greg) Pursley and (David) Mayhew, who have so many laps there,” McReynolds said, referring to two veterans of the series.
However, the circumstances are different this week at Stateline.
“I think it puts everyone on a level playing field,” McReynolds said. “I feel really confident. We got the opportunity to go test with our NAPA Toyota and prepare. We had a really productive test. I feel really good about the direction we’re headed in.”
BMR has brought championship crew chief Jeff Jefferson on board as the team prepares to head into the second half of the 2014 season.
“I feel we’re definitely going to hit our stride over the summer,” McReynolds said. “It’s a good opportunity for all the teams to dig in and get your communication down. I really feel like we’re doing that as a group.”
McReynolds, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars, is coming off a fifth-place finish on the road course at Sonoma (California) Raceway last month. The 23-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina driver is third in the championship standings, 32 points out of first. His best series finish is fourth, on four occasions. In addition, McReynolds has also raced in two K&N Pro Series East races this year, highlighted by a third-place finish on the short track at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Saturday’s event at Stateline Speedway, which will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on July 25 at 4 p.m. ET, is the seventh on a 14-race schedule – marking the halfway point of the season.