CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 8, 2017) – The three Bill McAnally Racing drivers who dominated competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this year garnered the top series awards at the NASCAR Night of Champions celebration on Friday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Todd Gilliland, who was honored for winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship during the gala event in the Crown Ballroom, led the way as the BMR drivers were recognized for finishing first, second, and third in the standings following a season in which they won 11 of 14 races.
It marks a second straight series championship for Gilliland in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and a record eighth series title for BMR – based in Roseville, California.
Mike Curb and Bill McAnally were presented with championship car owner trophies during the ceremony, and NAPA AUTO PARTS President Dan Askey was honored with the championship sponsor award. The championship crew chief award went to Chris Lawson.
Gilliland – a 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina – was presented with the championship trophy and NASCAR championship ring.
“This year has been super special, working with such great people at BMR,” said Gilliland, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars. “It’s been fun to grow as a team over the last two years and make ourselves better.
“Going to all these race tracks with fans who remember the Gilliland name was awesome, and hopefully we added to their memories of the Gilliland family,” he said.
“It was a very busy year, running both the East and the West, but I think it made me a better driver being able to be in a car every week and keep developing,” Gilliland said. “This year’s K&N West championship was a tighter battle, so at sometimes it was nerve racking; but a lot of fun.”
Gilliland received the 21 Means 21 Pole Award Presented by Coors Brewing Company and a champion’s jacket from Coca-Cola. While winning seven pole awards overall in the K&N West this season, he reeled off five straight to set a series record.
Gilliland was also presented with the trophy for finishing second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East final standings this year. During the season, he became the first driver in the history of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series to lead the championship standings of the East and West divisions at the same time.
He scored six wins, seven poles, 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 14 K&N West races this year. His record in the K&N East this year included four wins, one pole, 10 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes.
During Friday’s festivities, Chris Eggleston was presented the trophy for finishing second in the K&N West standings. The 2015 series champion from Erie, Colorado had a banner year as he battled for his second series title, driving BMR’s No. 99 NAPA Filters / H20 Fire Protection Toyota Camry. He registered four wins, four poles, 11 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes.
Derek Kraus received the trophy for finishing third in the K&N West standings, along with being honored with the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the series and the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award for 2017. Kraus – a 16-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin – had one win, one pole, nine top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes. He was the top finishing rookie in seven of the 14 races. Kraus is the fifth BMR driver to win the rookie award.
This is BMR’s third consecutive championship, matching the three straight titles in 1999, 2000, and 2001 that began the team’s championship run 18 years ago. BMR’s other two titles came in 2008 and 2010.
“It’s been a remarkable year for everyone at BMR,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “All three teams were extremely competitive. I’m proud of the work by everyone and what everyone was able to accomplish.
“Todd and his team had another great year, made even more amazing because of the success they had while racing in both divisions,” McAnally said. “Chris and the No. 99 team had a terrific year and came close to taking home another title. And Derek and his team demonstrated their strength throughout the year, going to Victory Lane in the final race and coming away with the rookie title.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the great sponsors we have,” McAnally said. “A big thank you goes out to all of them for making a record eighth title and everything else possible. Their support and continued loyalty is very much appreciated.”
They include NAPA AUTO PARTS, NAPA Filters, NAPA Belts & Hoses, Carlyle Tools, and Toyota; as well as NAPA AutoCare, NGK Spark Plugs, Valvoline Oil, Curb Records, H2O Fire Protection, and many other great sponsors.
Gilliland is the third generation of his family to have success in the series. His father, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran David Gilliland, won the rookie title in 2004, and his grandfather, Butch Gilliland, won the 1997 championship in the series, when it was known as the NASCAR Winston West Series.
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Kevin W. Green
Bill McAnally Racing