2 Talented Young BMR Rookies Among Drivers Selected
ROSEVILLE, Calif. (May 17, 2016) – Two talented young Bill McAnally Racing drivers are among the 11 competitors named Tuesday to the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class.
This year’s group of NASCAR Next drivers, who were introduced on Fox Sports 1’s “NASCAR Race Hub” on Tuesday, include BMR rookies Todd Gilliland and Julia Landauer.
The NASCAR Next program, which was developed in 2011, spotlights young drivers that NASCAR considers as the sport’s emerging stars. Nine NASCAR Next alumni have gone on to win races in one of NASCAR’s three national series – including Chase Elliott, who won the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship in 2014; and Erik Jones, who won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2015. Elliott has advanced to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, where he competes as a rookie in the No. 24 NAPA AUTO PARTS entry.
Previous BMR drivers to be named to the NASCAR Next program include Cole Custer, Cameron Hayley, and Brandon McReynolds. Custer went on to score two wins while racing in select events during the past two years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, becoming the youngest winner at NASCAR’s national level. He is racing in his first full season in the truck series this year.
Hayley also graduated to the Camping World Truck Series, where in his second full season of competition he has accumulated five top-five, and 17 top-10 finishes in 31 starts. McReynolds captured the spotlight last year, meanwhile, when he and his BMR team swept the two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination races at Iowa Speedway – becoming the first repeat winner of the prestigious event.
This year, Gilliland and Landauer join the list of BMR drivers to receive the NASCAR Next recognition.
Gilliland, who drives the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for BMR, is in his rookie season this year – running the full schedule in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and select events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The Sherrills Ford, North Carolina driver won his first four NASCAR K&N Pro Series races, tying a record held by Dan Gurney, and also becoming the youngest winner in the K&N West.
Gilliland, who turned 16 earlier this week, leads the championship standings in the K&N West, with two wins and three top-five finishes in three starts this year. The third-generation racer is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran David Gilliland, and grandson of 1997 K&N West Champion Butch Gilliland. He started racing quarter-midgets at the age of 5 and was competing in late model stock cars by the time he was 13.
Landauer, also in her rookie season, drives BMR’s No. 54 Toyota Racing Camry. The 24-year-old New York native – who now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina – scored a championship in the Skip Barber Racing series at the age of 14. Last year, she won a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship in the Limited Late Model division at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia.
Landauer, a 2014 graduate of Stanford University, is seventh in the championship standings in the K&N West and fourth in rookie points. She has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in three starts.
Drivers in the 2016-17 class announced Tuesday will meet one-on-one with members of the media during a special luncheon on Wednesday. The NASCAR Next drivers are also scheduled to be part of the “NASCAR America” show on NBCSN on Wednesday.
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Kevin W. Green
Bill McAnally Racing