NASCAR Next Driver Earns “Coca-Cola Hard Charger Award”
Passing 29 Cars in Final 130 Laps
Nevada, Iowa – After seven Top 5 finishes in the past nine races, finishing fourteenth in the Autolite Iridium XP 150 at the Iowa Speedway was certainly not what the #16 NAPA Auto Parts team had envisioned, however neither was being in 43rd position after the first twenty laps of the race. After mechanical issues suffered during qualifying required two very early pit stops, Brandon McReynolds and his NAPA Auto Parts’ teammates found themselves in a very unfamiliar position, dead last. “It is a humbling position to be in,” said McReynolds after the race, “I just remember telling myself to take them one car at a time. I knew that worrying about where the leaders were at or what position I was in would not be productive, and that if I just worked on chasing down whatever car was next in front of us that the rest would take care of itself.”
Quickly progressing through the back half of the field, McReynolds masterfully navigated his Toyota Camry to 22nd by the mid-point of the race, and 15th by Lap 100. “I knew that our car tonight was not in a position to really contend with the leaders, especially given all of the track position that we had to give up at the beginning of the race to get the left front spring fixed,” said McReynolds, “however, despite all of the adversity this team faced today, our guys never gave up and I wanted to get our NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry as far up into the field as I could in respect for their effort tonight.” Although McReynolds appeared to briefly grab the tenth position coming out of turn two in the closing laps, a near collision after going three-wide in turn four pushed the #16 back to fourteenth.
“What that young man did tonight was inspiring,” said Jeff Jefferson, crew chief for the #16, “everyone knew that his car was having problems and no one would have thought twice if he had just rode around in the back all night. But that is not the type of person Brandon is, he is a racer through and through, and he sure proved it tonight. It makes you proud to race with him.”
Marking the ninth of fourteen races this season, the Autolite Iridium XP 150 was the second and final dual series race of the season, bringing together the best of both NASCAR’s K&N West and K&N East Series’. Contested at the Iowa Speedway, a 7/8 mile oval located northeast of Des Moines, Iowa, the race will air on Fox Sports 1, Friday, August 8 at 11:00 a.m. EST.
Next on the NASCAR K&N West Series schedule is the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington on August 16.