By Colby Evans
Bill McAnally announced Wednesday Austin Herzog, who had been driving the team’s No. 16 Napa Chevrolet, was released and Landen Lewis was tabbed to drive the No. 16 for the remainder of the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West season.
It wasn’t revealed why Herzog was taken out of the ride. While Herzog finished inside the Top-10 in four of the five races this season, Herzog hadn’t led any laps and only finished inside the Top-5 twice. He is ranked fifth in driver’s points.
Lewis had driven in two of the five races this season in the No. 17 for MMI-Bruce Cook Racing at Kern County and Sonoma, winning at Kern County.
When the schedule races at Irwindale Saturday, it will be Lewis’s third start in the west series and sixth total in the ARCA Menards Series West.
Lewis raced in three ARCA main division races in 2021, running races at Springfield, Duquoin and Salem for Rette Motorsports. While Lewis only has six starts, Lewis has already accumulated two wins in the West Series.
Although Lewis won’t be eligible for the driver’s title nor the Bounty Rookie-of-the-Year award, BMR’s No. 16 entry currently sits 5th in the owners points and will be chasing that title instead.
Will the pressure be too much for Lewis?, with Ron Hornaday as his coach, it’ll be interesting to see how the 16-year-old rookie handles one of the top rides in the west Division.