ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Austin Herzog will drive the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS in this year’s ARCA Menards Series West.
The 19-year-old from Clovis, Calif., will run for the championship and the Rookie of the Year Award, as he runs the full series schedule and additional races under ARCA-sanctioned races.
“We’re excited to welcome Austin to BMR, as he graduates to the ARCA Series,” said BMR president Bill McAnally. “He has a great passion for racing. He has impressed us with his talent and we expect to challenge for the title, as we provide him the opportunity to reach his full potential at this level.”
Herzog’s one start in ARCA completion is an eighth-place finish at Kern County Raceway Park in 2018.
“It’s a real honor to be racing for such a prestigious racing team,” Herzog said. “I’ve always wanted to race for BMR. We’ve worked so hard to get here. This car (the NAPA 16) shows up and everybody has their eyes on it. It’s an honor to drive it.”
BMR and NAPA have partnered for a record 11 series championships, including six titles the past seven years. They have also scored 106 overall wins in the East and West divisions of the ARCA Menards Series, formerly the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
Herzog looks forward to working with crew chief Travis Sharpe.
“We met him at the BMR Drivers Academy testing,” Herzog said. “We got to talk to him a little bit about these cars and learn a bit. We’ve raced at Kern County in our Late Model with him, too. Our relationship has grown a bunch. He doesn’t just crew chief the car, he helps me learn about it, too.”
Herzog started his racing career and moved up through the ranks at Madera Speedway, a third-mile paved oval in Central California his grandfather, Richard, and father, Bryan, also raced at.
In 2016, Herzog raced in the inaugural season of the 51Fifty Jr. Late Model Series where he scored four wins. He added two more victories in the series in 2017.
Herzog won the Rookie of the Year Award in the pro late models in 2017 and finished as the runner-up in that division in ’18. That year he also won the West Coast Nationals 100 pro late model race at Orange Show Speedway and had an eighth-place finish in making his ARCA West debut that year at Kern County.
Herzog won the track championship in the pro late model division in 2019. In addition, he registered a career-best finish of second in a super late model race with the SRL Southwest Tour that year.
He will be the third graduate of the Jr. Late Model division to drive for BMR, following two-time ARCA West champion Jesse Love and 2018 ARCA West Rookie of the Year Hailie Deegan.
This season will mark BMR’s 32nd year with NAPA Auto Parts as a sponsor.
“We are proud of our long-term partnership with NAPA Auto Parts,” McAnally said. “We thank everyone at NAPA for their continued support. At BMR, our goal remains the same – to continue winning races and championships and provide NAPA with the best sales tool in this sport.”
“In addition to NAPA, we want to thank the other great sponsors we have,” McAnally said. “We are grateful for their support and continued loyalty.”