Bill McAnally Racing moving up to National Touring Series
Bill McAnally Racing has dominated the K&N Pro Series West, the premier NASCAR Regional Touring Series west of the Mississippi, for the past decade.
Now they’re moving up to NASCAR’s National Touring Series.
Roseville, California-based BMR has announced this week it will field a full-season entry in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for 2019 NK&NPSW champion Derek Kraus.
Kraus, 18, will drive the No. 19 Toyota Tundra for newly formed McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, in alliance with 2018 series champion Hattori Racing Enterprises.
Kevin Bellicort, the general manager at BMR, will serve as Kraus’ crew chief.
Bill Hilgemann, a businessman in Kraus’ hometown of Stratford, Wisconsin, will provide sponsorship backing.
Kraus won 10 West Series races the last three years.
He has made five career starts in the Truck Series.
Kraus posted top-10 finishes at Phoenix and Dover in 2019.
“We’ve been working hard to find ways to move Derek up to the next level in NASCAR,” McAnally told RACER.com. “It’s been great to be part of his development these past three years in the West Series.
“We’re very excited to partner with Bill Hilgemann, and to work with such a strong Toyota team as HRE. They know how to win championships.”
Bill McAnally is the only owner to win eight NASCAR regional touring series championships.
Brendan Gaughan and Eric Holmes each won back-to-back series titles, and Todd Gilliland was the latest BMR championship alumnus before Kraus.
Sean Woodside won BMR its first West Series title in 1999.
Kraus won an intramural battle at BMR with teammate Hailie Deegan to take the Series championship a year ago.
Keegan famously bump-drafted Kraus out of the way on the final lap at Idaho to win.
Deegan signed with Ford Performance for 2020. The two figure to cross paths again this season.
“It’s going to be a learning experience, moving up to the Truck Series,” Kraus said.