Gilliland And Herbst Join BMR Roster For 2016
ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Bill McAnally Racing today announced that Chris Eggleston, Todd Gilliland and Riley Herbst will drive for the team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for 2016.
Plans call for all three drivers to run the full schedule in the K&N Pro Series West, with select events in the K&N Pro Series East worked into the schedule.
Eggleston returns for a second year after capturing the 2015 championship in the K&N Pro Series West in his first full season in the series. Gilliland, the 15-year-old son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran driver David Gilliland, is coming off a win at Phoenix in his series debut – becoming the youngest winner in the series. Herbst, who comes from a racing family well known in off-road competition, is coming off an outstanding season where he won a championship as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway. The 16-year-old will be making his debut in the K&N Pro Series West.
“We’re excited to announce this portion of our program for the K&N Pro Series in 2016,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “It’s great to have Chris return to defend his title and to have such talented young drivers as Todd and Riley join the team. We have high expectations, based on what we have seen from all three of them.”
The team is focused on building on its performance from this past season, McAnally said.
“We finished the year strong, with Chris clinching the championship at Phoenix and Todd scoring the win in his series debut,” he said. “We plan to work hard in the off-season to carry that momentum forward into next season.”
Eggleston won his first race with BMR in 2014 and that led to him running the full season and capturing the title in 2015. The 26-year-old hails from Erie, Colorado and is a graduate of Colorado State University. He has accumulated three wins, 11 top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes in 17 career starts in the K&N Pro Series West.
“Chris took the opportunity he had in 2014 and responded with a win,” McAnally said. “And with the opportunity to run a full season in 2015, he responded with a championship. We’re looking forward to continued success with him.”
Eggleston honed his talent competing at his home track of Colorado National Speedway, a 3/8-mile short track just north of Denver. It was the site of his first career series win in 2014.
“I am very excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to join forces again with Bill McAnally Racing for the 2016 season,” Eggleston said. “I am really looking forward to building on the success that we had this year and have high hopes to defend our championship.
“Bill has a lot of great guys that work very hard week in and week out to prepare fast race cars, and I’m honored that he has invited me back to be part of his team again,” he said. “Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without all the great people at NAPA AUTO PARTS, NAPA Filters, NAPA Belts & Hoses, and Toyota.”
Gilliland captured the spotlight at Phoenix, going to Victory Lane in his first race in the K&N Pro Series West and winning at a track where his father won in 2005. The teenager from Sherrils Ford, North Carolina has quickly added to a driver resume that also includes being the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA racing series, capturing a victory just two days after his 15th birthday in May.
“It’s great to have Todd join the ranks of the K&N Pro Series West as part of the BMR team,” said McAnally. “I continue to be amazed by his accomplishments and want to help him fulfill his potential in this series.”
Gilliland will be competing full-time in a series where his family name is well known. His father won the rookie title in 2004; and his grandfather, Butch, won the 1997 series championship.
“I look forward to running a full season in the K&N (Pro) Series and being part of the BMR team,” Gilliland said. “I think it’s going to be a great learning experience. It will be good to have a championship driver like Chris Eggleston to lean on and learn from, especially early in the season.”
Gilliland has embraced his role as a third-generation competitor in the series, meanwhile.
“It’s a really cool experience,” he said. “Hopefully, I can carry on the family tradition.”
Herbst grew up watching his father and grandfather compete in off-road racing classics such as the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. After starting his racing career with go-karts at the age of 5, he progressed to trophy karts, Legends cars, speed trucks, and late models.
“Riley demonstrates a great passion for racing every time he gets behind the wheel,” McAnally said. “We anticipate great success from him as he graduates to the K&N Pro Series West. We’re glad to have him become a part of the BMR team.”
Herbst did double duty as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway in 2015, winning the championship in the Irwindale Speed Trucks, and finishing fifth in the final standings in Irwindale’s late model division.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive for Bill McAnally Racing in 2016,” Herbst said. “I’m looking forward to a great season. Coming into the K&N Pro Series, I plan to learn as much as possible, with a goal of finishing every lap.
“The knowledge and experience of everyone at BMR will be a great benefit to me as I tackle the challenges of my rookie season in the series,” he said.
Gilliland and Herbst were among a group of talented young drivers who participated in the NAPA Filters Drivers Expo presented by Toyota that BMR conducted this past summer.
“I was impressed with the way they both conducted themselves on and off the track,” McAnally said. “Joining with Chris, they make for a trio of drivers who we are proud to have represent BMR and our corporate partners in 2016.”
BMR captured its sixth K&N Pro Series West championship this past year, which tied a record for the series and throughout NASCAR’s Regional Touring level. The team also celebrated its 25th anniversary with NAPA AUTO PARTS as a sponsor.
Todd Gilliland became the youngest race winner in K&N Pro Series history with his victory at Phoenix International Raceway in November. NASCAR via Getty Images