Bill McAnally Racing has tapped Austin Herzog to pilot the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS full-time in the ARCA Menards Series West this season, the organization announced on Monday.
Herzog, 19, will challenge for the series championship and rookie of the year honors, as he runs his first full schedule in the ARCA Menards Series West, with additional events in the ARCA Menards Series possible throughout the year.
“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 has made one career start in the ARCA Menards Series West in 2018, netting a seventh-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.”
Herzog will have veteran ARCA crew chief Travis Sharpe on the pit box for the No. 16 team in 2022.
“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 collected Rookie of The Year honors in Pro Late Models in 2017, before finishing second-place in the division the following season in a season that included a win in the West Coast Nationals 100 at Orange Show Speedway.
The Clovis, California-native is the third graduate of the Junior Late Model Division to drive for Bill McAnally Racing, after two-time ARCA West Champion Jesse Love and 2018 ARCA West Rookie of The Year Hailie Deegan.
The 2022 season marks the 32nd season of partnership between Bill McAnally Racing and NAPA Auto Parts, a partnership that has been prevalent in the team’s 11 ARCA Menards Series West championships, including six in the last seven seasons.
“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.”