SONOMA, Calif. – Bill McAnally Racing came away with two cars in the top five in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth and Brandon McReynolds took fifth in the Carneros 200.
Cole Custer was 12th in a third BMR entry, as he and McReynolds made their road racing debut on the twisting 1.99-mile California road course. Both drivers are members of the NASCAR Next program, which spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars.
Stenhouse, who races full-time for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, drove BMR’s No. 99 Roush Performance Parts entry at Sonoma; while McReynolds was in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and Custer was in the No. 00 NAPA Filters/HAAS Automation Toyota.
“It was a productive day,” said McReynolds, who is in his first full season of competing in the K&N Pro Series West. “I definitely learned a lot. Our NAPA Toyota was decent. The guys worked really hard. It wasn’t from a lack of effort. A lot of it was probably me just getting use to the track and not being able to tell them what I needed.”
All three BMR entries started at the front of the grid – with Stenhouse second, McReynolds fifth and Custer sixth. All three remained in the front pack until McReynolds and Custer got together and spun in the hairpin turn on Lap 30. McReynolds re-fired his engine and managed to only lose two spots, but Custer suffered front end damage and fell back to 12th.
Stenhouse, meanwhile, encountered trouble just after the midway point of the race and had to pit with a flat left front tire. He restarted in 17th and began a charge back to the front, moving to ninth by Lap 50 and fifth by Lap 60.
While Stenhouse was working his way forward, McReynolds waged a back-and-forth battle with Justin Allgaier as the laps wound down in the 66-lap race.
“I got spun out there at the beginning,” McReynolds said of his initial incident. “Then, me and Allgaier got into it a little bit. It was kind of a long day; but to finish fifth, all in all it wasn’t’ bad. So, I’m pretty happy with it.”
Despite damage to his car, Custer was able to gain a few positions after making a pit stop during a caution on Lap 48.
With his top-five finish, McReynolds moved to third in the championship standings – with six events complete of a 14-race schedule. The 23-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina driver has one pole, four top five and five top 10 finishes this year – while placing a career-best fourth on three occasions.
Custer of Ladera Ranch, California is competing in select events in the East and West divisions of the K&N Pro Series this year – while running a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 16-year-old won the K&N Pro Series West season opener at Phoenix International Raceway in February and also won the K&N Pro Series East race at Richmond (Virginia) International Raceway in April.
In his most recent Camping World Truck Series race, Custer set the fast mark in qualifying at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis to become the youngest driver to win a pole in that series. He went on to notch a career-best sixth-place series finish there.
The Sonoma race, the first of two road course events for the K&N Pro Series West this year, will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on July 4 at 2 p.m. ET.
The next event on the series schedule, meanwhile, is at State Line Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho on July 12.
Photo Getty Images for NASCAR