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Checkered past; checkered present? McAnally Racing has home-track advantage in Roseville

BMR will try for sixth win in last seven Pro Series West events at All American Speedway
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Whether there is a home-field, home-court or home-ice advantage in sports can be debated ad nauseam, but it’s hard to argue with Bill McAnally Racing’s home-track edge at All American Speedway.

McAnally cars have won five of six races since the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returned to Roseville, and they’ll try to make it six of seven in Saturday night’s Toyota/NAPA Auto Care 150.

Eric Holmes of Escalon has three of those five victories, including last October’s event that vaulted toward his third Pro Series West championship.

“It’s always fun here, and I’ve won all but two of them I think since I’ve been running these cars here, and we probably should have won those two,” said Holmes, who steers the No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry. “It feels good to be back here. We know we can come here and win.”

McAnally driver Paulie Harraka won the April event last year, but the BMR team in Saturday night's Pro Series West event consists only of Holmes and Moses Smith. Holmes has led a series-high 516 laps around the one-third-mile oval at All American. Smith is no slouch. He has three top-five finishes in six starts in Roseville, a high finish of third in 2008 and an average finish of sixth.

“If you had anything to do at all with Bill McAnally Racing, you would like Roseville because this track has been so good to us,” McAnally said. “We want to perform well at home. We work hard for it.”

McAnally also works hard as promoter of the Pro Series West races at All American. The events generally sell out, and through April 8, 2,200 tickets were sold. Saturday night’s card also includes SRL and Legends races. McAnally said there were 29 Pro Series West cars entered, 27 SRL machines and more than 40 Legends. A vintage smoker plane also has been added to do a fly-by.

“People are wanting it. They’re embracing it. They always do,” McAnally said. “I wouldn’t expect any less here.”

BMR isn’t going to have it easy. Greg Pursley won the season opener in Phoenix, and he finished third at All American in the fall 2009 race. David Mayhew has finished in the top 10 in all five of his Roseville starts.

“Greg Pursley, Jonathon Gomez, David Mayhew – those three really came on strong all last year,” said Holmes, who finished 14th in Phoenix. “It’s probably one of the most competitive years we’ve had in a long time. There’s always been two or three guys. This year, there’s about five that could really have a legitimate shot at winning the championship. We definitely have to step up our program, because they’re all gunning for us.”

Roseville racer Eric Schmidt will drive the Stephanie Bellotti Teen Fund Chevrolet for Naake Motorsports.

Stephanie Bellotti was killed in a car accident in 2002. The fund, established by her parents, Eileen and Vincent Bellotti, at the Placer Community Foundation, provides scholarships to the National Auto Sport Association Car Control Clinic on April 19 in Willows.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST

When: Saturday, April 16
Where: All American Speedway, 800 All America City Blvd., Placer County Fairgrounds, in Roseville
Schedule: K&N Pro Series West Toyota/NAPA Auto Care 150, SRL main event, Legends main event. Tickets: Adults, $35; kids 6-11, $15; kids 5 and under, free. Gates open at 3 p.m. Parking $5.
Information and tickets: www.billmcanallyracing.com, 676-0256 (Bill McAnally Racing), 786-2025 (Placer Co. Fair office).
TV: SPEED Channel (TBA)
Radio: NASCARHomeTracks.com (live)
Online: Not going to the race? Visit www.rosevillept.com late tonight for results and highlights.