Young NASCAR Next Driver Continues to Impress in Rookie Season
Denver, Colorado – With seven Top-5 finishes in his last nine races, Brandon McReynolds has already proven that he is a Championship contender, but Saturday night at Colorado National Speedway the rookie driver who has been named by NASCAR as one of the sport’s most promising young talents, showed another positive step in his development, by displaying the ability to compete against the series’ top teams despite being hampered by mechanical difficulties throughout the race. “It is a little bitter-sweet,” McReynolds said following the race, “certainly anytime you can come out here and get another Top-5 finish competing against this level of competition it is rewarding, however I am disappointed and a little perplexed at how tight our Toyota Camry got after the first long run of the night. We have had this problem at a number of other short tracks this year, where the car has a lot of speed in both practice and qualifying, and then tightens up considerably after the first long run of the race. I do not know if it has to do with the track cooling down or the car burning off fuel, but it certainly showed tonight in our lap speeds as the night progressed.”
After qualifying second, McReynolds took the lead at Lap 18 before sliding back in the field as the car tightened with each lap. “On these short tracks you have got to be able to get down to the center of the turn and back on the throttle if you are going to compete for wins, and by the mid-point of the race our Toyota Camry could not hold the line that we needed,” McReynolds said, when asked about the difference in the car’s performance as the night went on, “we were certainly on the defensive those last forty laps, which is not typically part of my vocabulary, but at that point it was all I could do to fight off the cars behind us and get us across the line fifth.”
The NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150, contested at Colorado National Speedway located just north of downtown Denver, Colorado, was the eighth race of the NASCAR K&N West Series 2014 Schedule. The race will air on Fox Sports 1, Sunday, August 3 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Next on McReynolds’ schedule is the Autolite Iridium XP 150 at Iowa Speedway August 1, which brings the best of both NASCAR’s K&N West and K&N East Series’ together for the second of the season’s two dual-series competitions. McReynolds, whose prior Iowa finish represented his only 2014 finish outside of the Top 10 is looking forward to getting back to Iowa for a little redemption. “I feel like the Iowa track owes us one,” McReynolds said, referring to his trip earlier this year in May when a blown right front tire ended his evening, “and I know that everyone here on the #16 team is looking forward to going back to the heartland and hopefully bringing back a victory for the entire NAPA organization.”