Bill McAnally Racing's brightly-colored blue and yellow car, adorned with a giant NAPA logo on the hood, has been in Victory Lane in five of seven annual visits to the Roseburg, Ore., track since 2002.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When it comes to NASCAR Camping World Series West competition at Douglas County Speedway, no team has been as dominant as the NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored entry of Bill McAnally Racing.
The brightly-colored blue and yellow car, adorned with a giant NAPA logo on the hood, has been in Victory Lane in five of seven annual visits to the Roseburg, Ore., track since 2002.
Eric Holmes, who last year became the third different driver in three years to wheel the BMR entry to victory at Douglas County Speedway, will be aiming to continue the team’s success at Roseburg when the NASCAR Camping World Series West returns there for the Toyota/Bi-Mart 150 presented by NAPA Auto Parts on Saturday, June 6.
Holmes attributes the team’s success to an extra effort they put in at races such as this in which car owner Bill McAnally also serves as the promoter of the event.
“Any time you’re driving for Bill and you’re going to a track that he’s promoting or one of his sponsors is sponsoring, I think the team and the driver don’t want to lose,” he said. “They don’t want to come up short. So, everybody puts a little extra effort in and digs down deep. I think that’s usually the difference.”
Holmes delights in the extra pressure of competing under such circumstances.
“I like having that kind of pressure,” he said. “It makes it interesting. It gives everybody that extra kick in the butt to get up there and do a good job. I know my team puts extra effort into it. We don’t want to let down all the NAPA customers and employees and the Toyota people that come and support us. I definitely go there to win and enjoy that little added pressure.”
Although the BMR team has been so successful at Roseburg, Holmes says the .375-mile track presents plenty of challenge.
“It’s flat and slick and you just can’t over-drive the track,” he said. “You’ve got to have a car that will stay on the bottom and turn good. And you’ve got to qualify well. It’s very hard to pass on.”
Despite having a fast car a year ago, Holmes encountered trouble that made it tough to get to Victory Lane.
“In last year’s race, I started on the pole and we had a dominant car,” he recalled. “That was one of the best cars I’ve driven in my entire life. We got a flat tire, with a huge lead, and had to come back through the pack. That was not an easy feat, but I was determined to get back up there and win that race. I didn’t want to break the streak for the NAPA car winning that race.”
Drivers who have won in the NAPA car at Roseburg include Austin Cameron, with back-to-back victories (2002 & 2003); along with Peyton Sellers (2006) and Brian Ickler (2007), who each scored their first career series win there; and Holmes, with his victory last year.
As if he needed any extra motivation, Holmes has added incentive heading into this year’s event. After winning two of the first four races this season, he got caught up in an incident at Iowa Speedway and finished 16th of the 16 NASCAR Camping World Series West drivers competing in the combination race. Although he was able to retain the top spot in the championship standings, Holmes saw his lead shrink to just 16 points. Now he hopes to bounce back and extend that margin.
“My outlook hasn’t changed,” Holmes said. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know I could go to Roseburg … and I think I’ve got a good shot to win that race. And I could go to Sonoma and I’ve got a shot to win there; and go to Irwindale, I’ve got a shot to win there. We just go and keep winning races. The season’s short. You can’t really points race. You’ve just got to go all out. That’s what I enjoy doing.”