Bill McAnally Racing’s ‘BMR Drivers Academy’ will not continue to operate in 2022, a representative from the organization has officially confirmed to TobyChristie.com.
The developmental series was developed in late 2020 by Bill McAnally and the 11-time ARCA Menards Series West championship-winning organization and would announce an official partnership with NASCAR just months later.
Heading into 2021, the program’s inaugural season, the operation planned a schedule of 40 events, spanning 16 different race weekends between March and October. Bill McAnally Racing planned to have a fleet of 14 identical vehicles for BMRDA competition, with components similar to those required to compete in the ARCA Menards Series.
The program, on paper, seemed like an incredible way for Bill McAnally Racing / McAnally-Hilgemann Racing to groom young talent and prepare them for competition in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR’s top-three series.
However, as the season began moving through their first race weekends, car counts weren’t exactly as impressive as originally intended. In fact, only 11 drivers competed in the series throughout the season, which saw its schedule shortened to 26 races.
Cole Moore, who competed full-time in the ARCA West Series for BMR, was the only driver to compete full-time, with Amber Balcaen and JoLynn Wilkinson being the only other drivers to run more than ten events.
Moore ended up winning 21 of 26 events, only yielding victory lane to Dylan Lupton (twice), Gabe Sommers (twice), and Bradley Erickson. Eric Nascimento, Brian Kamisky, Brandon Varney, Derek Kraus, and Jesse Love also competed without victory lane.
To make matters worse, the program’s biggest ‘payout’, an opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Truck Series season-finale at Phoenix, didn’t exactly come to fruition, with NASCAR blocking the team’s original plan.
Despite the Bill McAnally Racing Drivers Academy being discontinued prior to the commencement of its second season, the team has ensured TobyChristie.com that they will still have a Driver Development program – albeit a less extensive one — in place, for those interested.
This driver-specific program will be a tailored regimen in order for a driver to gain experience in an ARCA Menards Series car, including testing sessions, coaching, and some west coast racing events, all of which will be adjusted to the needs of each driver.
With the elimination of the program, Bill McAnally – the owner of BMR, and co-owner of MHR — will be able to focus on the operations of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, which will not only expand to two entries in 2022 but open its own shop in Statesville, North Carolina.
As for the team’s ARCA Menards Series West program, a team representative says BMR will operate multiple full-time entries in the series for 2022, but have yet to determine their drivers, other than the already-announced Austin Herzog.