• Second Straight K&N Pro Series West Race With Both BMR Drivers In Top Five
MERIDIAN, Idaho (Sept. 5, 2015) – Brandon McReynolds and Chris Eggleston each overcame issues to battle back for a top-five finish in the NAPA AUTO PARTS / Idaho 208 at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway on Saturday.
It marked the second straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race in which the Bill McAnally Racing teammates accomplished the feat.
McReynolds thundered through the pack to finish second in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota, after making a pit stop for a flat tire. Eggleston fell back after hitting the wall, but managed to charge to a fourth-place finish in the No. 99 NAPA Filters/H2O Fire Protection Toyota.
McReynolds had shot from eighth on the starting grid to gain second by Lap 51. He shadowed the leader, but could not make a move to get past on the tight quarter-mile short track. After running in second for nearly 100 laps, McReynolds’ hope for another top finish appeared to be derailed by a flat left front tire. He dashed to the pits under caution, however, and his NAPA crew was able to change the tire and get him back out on the lead lap.
The 24-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina driver mounted a charge back to the front and regained second place by Lap 186. He challenged for the lead, but could not get by before the checkered flag waved.
“I knew we had a really good car,” said. “So we were able to drive right up through there. We just came up a little bit short. I felt like we could definitely hang with the (No.) 7. We might have been just a tick better, if we just could have got out front. It just was hard to pass on the bottom.
“We just came up a little bit short, but it was definitely a really strong run for the NAPA Toyota,” he said. “Now we’re looking forward to going on to Roseville.”
Eggleston started fifth on the grid and soon found that a tight condition that he and his crew had fought with the race car in practice was not any better. Nevertheless, he was looking to gain positions as the race went on. Just past the midway point of the race, however, Eggleston also encountered trouble when his car got into the wall.
“We were rolling the top really good,” said Eggleston, who was looking to move up in the top five at the time. “We were giving it all we had. We got in just a little bit too hard into (Turn) 3, and had a little too much rear brake. We got into the marbles and completely lost it and bounced off the fence. It climbed the fence as high as the fence would go. I kept it going and kind of saw the season flash before my eyes.”
Eggleston fell back, but managed to remain in the top 10 – as the race continued without a caution.
“We just kept digging and never gave up and we were able to come out with a fourth-place finish,” he said. “That was definitely the hardest fourth-place finish I’ve ever had to fight for.”
“I couldn’t have done it without all the help of NAPA Filters, Toyota, H2O Fire Protection and this whole Bill McAnally Racing team,” the Erie, Colorado driver said. “They worked their tails off. They worked overtime all weekend. They just never gave up. Even when we got a little discouraged in practice, we dug hard and found a little bit of speed.”
Eggleston is just two points out of the lead in the championship standings, with two events remaining. He has two wins, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 11 starts.
McReynolds, meanwhile, moved to sixth in points. He has two wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS / Idaho 208, won by Noah Gragson, will be televised on NBCSN on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. It was just the second series visit to Meridian Speedway, with the first coming in 1972.
The next series event will be the NAPA AUTO PARTS / Toyota 150 at All American Speedway in Roseville, California on Oct. 17.