Earns Fifth Top-5 of 2014 Despite Challenges from Drivers from NASCAR’s Top Series
Sonoma, California – For a young driver who has grown up and earned his stripes at NASCAR ovals across the country, road course racing is not something that comes natural or easy. Throw in a field of competitors that included five full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, and “on paper” Saturday’s NASCAR K&N West Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway was not a race where the #16 NAPA Auto Parts team was expected to put up much of a challenge. McReynolds, however, must not have received the memo. Appearing undeterred by the challenge of competing in his first road race or the experience of his competitors, McReynolds even seemed at times to enjoy his status as an underdog.
“To be honest, I think that is as about as much fun as I have ever had driving a stock car,” McReynolds said after the race, “there are certainly things that I learned over the past couple of days regarding road course racing and what you can and cannot do with the cars out there, but overall I am very proud of the effort put forth by our NAPA Auto Parts team.”
After qualifying sixth overall, McReynolds steadily moved up to fourth by the midway point of the race before being rear-ended and falling back to eighth. “I do not know that the car was ever quite the same after we were involved in that collision,” said McReynolds, “the team did a great job of trying to make some adjustments during our pit stop, but the car just progressively got tighter.” Nevertheless, following the accident McReynolds was able to maneuver the Toyota Camry back to seventh prior to a late race accident in turn 3, which provided McReynolds with just enough of a window to move into fifth.”
The Carneros 200 is the sixth race of the 2014 K&N Pro Series West season. Contested at Sonoma Raceway, a 1.99-mile road coarse in Northern-California, the course includes over 160 feet of elevation change and twelve turns. The Carneros 200 will air on Fox Sports 1, Friday, July 4 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Despite the strong performance, Formula 1 and other motorsports road course racing fans should not expect to see McReynolds making a career change anytime soon. “After today’s race, I have such an incredible appreciation for road course racers and the challenges that this type of racing presents,” said McReynolds, “my heart and passion, however, is with NASCAR and I look forward to seeing where my career in this great sport will take me.”
Next up for McReynolds is the July 12th K&N Pro Series West race at State Line Speedway, located in Post Falls, Idaho, just across the border from Spokane, Washington.