• K&N West Action On Southern California Short Track
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (May 19, 2018) – All three Bill McAnally Racing drivers finished in the top five in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competition on the tight quarter-mile oval at Orange Show Speedway before a packed crowed on Saturday night.
The trio ran nose-to-tail in the late stages of the 150-lap race, which was presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS.
Cole Rouse finished third in the No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, Hailie Deegan was fourth in the No. 19 Mobil 1/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry, and Derek Kraus took fifth in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
The finish by Rouse matched his career best finish in the series, while the rookie Deegan scored her first top-five finish in just her fourth career series start.
During time trials earlier in the day, the three BMR drivers had qualified in a row – with Kraus second, Rouse third, and Deegan fourth. Kraus battled for the top spot in the early laps of the race and led in the first half. He shadowed the leader for much of the event, before slipping back to fifth with handling issues in the closing laps.
Rouse raced with the leaders throughout the night to come away with a third-place finish for the third time in his career. He said he adjusted his line during the event, looking to gain on the leaders. After moving up to the middle groove midway through the race, he decided to change back to the lower lane.
Afterward, he later expressed mixed feelings about the outcome.
“I was kind of happy with it, but I was disappointed,” he said. “I was kind of in the middle. I definitely want a win for all the BMR guys that work so hard on our NAPA Filters Toyota.”
Deegan, meanwhile, faced a fierce battle for fifth through much of the race before putting on a charge to the finish.
“The car got a little tight mid-race and I fell back to sixth, but once the car cooled down a bit under a long caution we started digging and I gained those spots back,” Deegan said.
The entire weekend was a boost to her and the Mobil 1/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota team, she said.
“We ran third in most of practice, which was really good for me,” she said. “I felt like the car was really under me and I felt like it was in the track, too. Everything just felt right this weekend. I felt like this whole weekend everything just kind of clicked with us. I feel a little more comfortable in the car.”
Kraus – a 16-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin who won the rookie title in the series last year – remains third in the championship standings. He has one win and three top-five finishes in four starts this season.
Rouse is close behind in fourth in the standings. The 20-year-old native of Fort Smith, Arkansas has three top-five and four top-10 finishes.
Deegan, 16, of Temecula, California has moved into the lead in rookie points and gained a spot to sixth in the overall standings. The NASCAR Next driver had a best finish of seventh among her previous three series finishes.
A large group of NAPA guests in attendance at the track on Saturday were treated to a VIP experience; with a special pit tour, a meet-and-greet with the BMR drivers, a tour of one of BMR’s NAPA team transporters, and the opportunity to attend the NASCAR pre-race drivers meeting.
Saturday’s race, won by Ryan Partridge, was the fourth of a 15-event series schedule. The race is slated to be televised on NBCSN on May 24 at 3 p.m. PT.
The next event on the K&N Pro Series West schedule will be the NAPA AUTO PARTS / Toyota 175 at Colorado National Speedway north of Denver on June 9.