LOUDON, N.H. — Redemption for one, coronation for another.
After getting passed for the lead late in the race, Brandon McReynolds capitalized on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Apple Barrel 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.
It is the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory of McReynolds’ career in his 24th attempt dating back to 2011.
Despite a 13th place finish, Tyler Ankrum clinched the K&N Pro East title with one race remaining. Ankrum, a 17-year-old native of San Bernardino, Calif., had yet to finish outside of the top 10 prior to Saturday’s race, however, with teammate Tyler Dippel finishing just one spot ahead in 12th, Ankrum leads Dippel by 50 points. The maximum a driver can earn in an event is 48.
Ankrum has four wins with an average finish of 4.3 this season.
After winning the pole Friday and leading the field to green, Derek Kraus was able to pull out to the early lead before trading the top spot with McReynolds on a restart at Lap 29. The two would go back and forth for the lead several times throughout the race, including a late race pass on Lap 121 when Kraus dove under McReynolds to take over the lead with just four laps remaining.
A single car incident brought out the caution which set up NASCAR overtime, giving McReynolds another shot.
As the field rolled towards the green, Kraus spun his tires and McReynolds pounced. Two laps later he took his No. 74 Visconti Motorsports Chevrolet to New Hampshire Motor Speedway victory lane, something he has waited to do for a long, long time.
“It was pretty wild” said McReynolds. “I’ve always watched a lot of film on this place seeing races of my Dad when he won here so it’s a pretty special place to me — they call it the ‘Magic Mile’ which is pretty fitting.”
Brandon’s father, Larry, is a 23-time NASCAR Cup Series winning crew chief including a 1996 win here at New Hampshire.
While it was all smiles in one camp, it was heartbreak in another. Kraus came two laps from winning his fourth K&N Pro Series race of the season and was forced to settle for a runner-up result.
“We had a really good car today so I feel like we should have won that one” Kraus said. “I feel like overall we had a really good DGR-Crosley Toyota, we just didn’t get it done.”
Brandon McReynolds, Derek Kraus, Spencer Davis, Riley Herbst, Dillon Bassett, Anthony Alfredo, Colin Garrett, Chase Cabre, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Sam Mayer, Tristan Van Wieringen, Tyler Dippel, Tyler Ankrum, Ryan Vargas, Juan Manuel Gonzalez, Thomas Ferrando, Ruben Garcia Jr.