ROSEVILLE, California — There is only one thing on NASCAR K&N Pro West Series driver Eric Holmes’ mind this week. Winning.
"Last October, Holmes not only won the K&N Series race at AAS, but also won the SRL Southwest Tour race at the track the same night… This Saturday Holmes will be pulling double duty again…"
Holmes likes winning, and more often than not he does just that when he races at AAS. “It’s a place I always look forward to coming to, where we have a shot at winning,” Holmes said. “Qualifying towards the front helps, but I’ve come from starting seventh or eighth and won the race.”
“I didn’t grow up racing at AAS, but racing here is big for me. It’s the closest race to home, so now it’s kind of like my home track in the series.”
“Three-quarters of the crowd is here for BMR and Napa and Eric Holmes,” he continued. “That always makes it fun. It’s a lot more exciting to win in front of a capacity crowd like we get at AAS.”
“The .333 mile track is known for super-exciting, heart stopping racing, when the K&N cars hit the asphalt.
Last October, Holmes not only won the K&N Series race at AAS, but also won the SRL Southwest Tour race at the track the same night. To top it off, it was his birthday. This Saturday Holmes will be pulling double duty again, competing in both the K&N and SRL Southwest Tour races.
Holmes celebrated his third NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship in 2010, his second with Bill McAnally Racing and Napa Auto Parts.
The Toyota Napa Auto Care 150 at AAAS will mark Holmes’ first race with Duane Knorr heading up the No. 20 team. Knorr previously enjoyed great success as crew chief for former McAnally Racing driver Paulie Harraka.
“Duane and I have always gotten along well,” Holmes said. “I’ve been successful at this track and he has been successful at this track. I have all the confidence in the world in Duane and I know he is very confident in me.”
“But saying that, this is probably going to be the most competitive year ever in the K&N series,” Holmes added. “Every year I’ve had one guy I am usually in competition with for the championship. First it was with Mike David, and then for a few years it was Jason Bowles. The last two years it’s been David Mayhew, and towards the end of the year, Greg Pursley and Jonathan Gomez both stepped up their game. Michael Self has got the ability to step up his program this year and maybe a couple of the new guys coming in.”
Holmes and race promoter and car owner McAnally have had a great relationship for many years. Holmes tried for a long time to drive one of McAnally’s cars. Then, when McAnally went looking to win a championship, he picked Holmes to get the job done, and it worked, twice.
“Bill and I have always been great competitors and now we’ve grown to be great friends,” Holmes said. “He is not only helping me with my racing career, but also in my business career. His help got me my Napa store, and now he’s helping me with possibly opening up an automotive shop like he’s got.”
Holmes credits his Napa sponsorship to McAnally. “It’s all got to do with Bill and his relationship with Napa,” Holmes said. “I’ve been to enough events with Napa that I know everybody at Napa respects Bill and Bill respects them. He’s done a lot more for Napa than just put a name on his race cars.”
“He’s done a lot of promoting,” Holmes continued. “His Napa show car travels the country, and he has developed new things for Napa and the Napa Tools Equipment trailer that goes to all the Napa stores. He’s done a great job of taking care of Napa and they have done a great job taking care of him.”
“For myself, now that I have a Napa store I kind of feel like I am now part of the Napa family. It’s exciting,” he added.
Racing action begins Friday, April 15, at 8:00 p.m., with the A-All Mini Storage Bonus Challenge 100 presented by Pick-n-Pull, BMR Late Model race. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 16, gates open at 3:00 p.m. with racing beginning at 5:00 p.m. For more information go to: www.billmcanallyracing.com, or call the Placer County Fair Office at 916-786-2025.