•Four BMR Drivers Finish In Top 10 In K&N West Race
ROSEVILLE, Calif. (Oct. 11, 2014) – Christian PaHud made the most of his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, winning the Toyota/NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 at All American Speedway on Saturday.
PaHud, who also won the Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying for the event, became the fourth different driver to win a series race for Bill McAnally Racing this season.
The 21-year-old from Dayton, Ohio had earned the opportunity to compete in BMR’s No. 99 PEAK Toyota at Roseville by winning this year’s PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge.
“Me and (crew chief) Roger (Bracken) got this thing dialed in last Thursday and Friday and we made a few minor adjustments this morning,” PaHud said of their test sessions at the third-mile track a week before the race. “Come qualifying time, we weren’t really sure we had, because in practice we missed it just a little bit. But we got a good run. I made a few adjustments to help us out in qualifying and it put us on the pole. That was amazing. I’d been okay with going home right there.”
After starting on the pole, PaHud slipped back to third almost immediately.
“We fell back a little bit trying to save tires,” he said. “We saved all we could the first half of the race. We got to about 50 or 60 (laps) to go and I got on the radio to (spotter) Eric (Holmes) and told him ‘we gotta go and get up front and see if we could get on the front row for these late-race restarts.’ And we did just that. As soon as I told him that, we went to the front.”
PaHud took the lead on Lap 127 and went on to win the 150-lap event by a margin of .485 seconds.
Joining him on the podium was his teammate Brandon McReynolds, who finished third in BMR’s No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. It marked the ninth consecutive top-five finish for McReynolds, who led much of the race and ran side-by-side with PaHud for the lead late in the event.
“They were both really good cars,” McReynolds said. “I felt like we were a little better on the long haul. He was a little better on the short runs. Obviously, it showed at the end. I really don’t know what I would have done any different. I chose the bottom (lane) and it wasn’t the right way to go and we suffered the consequences.”
McReynolds – a 23-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina – credited his crew with providing him with a car capable of challenging.
“The NAPA guys did really good, because when we unloaded we were really horrible,” he said. “I was not very happy. They worked their tails off and got it a lot better and put us in position. We just came up a little short. But we can’t hang our head, because it was a really good night. It was the best run, speed wise, of the whole year.”
McReynolds, a NASCAR Next driver who is in his first full season of competing in the series, is third in the championship standings with one race remaining on the schedule. He has two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 13 K&N West starts this year.
Also finishing in the top 10 on Saturday were BMR drivers Gracin Raz, who took seventh in the No. 7 NAPA Filters Toyota, and Michael Waltrip, who finished 10th in the No. 1 Green 1 Toyota. Raz, a 17-year-old from Lake Oswego, Oregon, finished sixth for BMR in making series debut earlier this year. Waltrip was making his ninth series start, with five in the past four years.
PaHud became the fourth driver to win a series race for BMR this year. Cole Custer won the season opener at Phoenix International Raceway, Patrick Staropoli took the checkers at Irwindale Speedway and Chris Eggleston went to Victory Lane at Colorado National Speedway.
PaHud’s win adds to the six previous victories by BMR at All American Speedway. Three-time series champion Eric Holmes, who served as his spotter, had four wins there; while Paulie Harraka had two.
The Toyota/NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will wrap up its season with the Casino Arizona 100 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 6.