SBN Driver Beau DeBard Heading to NASCAR
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Former Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out winner and Skip Barber National driver Beau DeBard has teamed with Bill McAnally Racing (BMR), a team known for developing drivers for one of the top NASCAR Cup teams, Richard Childress Racing (RCR).
DeBard, of Reno, Nev., is doing all that it takes to develop his racing talents and to make it to the top of the NASCAR ladder. On his latest list of accomplishments, DeBard tested and earned a spot on the top driver development program on the West Coast, BMR. ‘‘Beau impressed me when we met and had our first test session. He’s a fine young talent with a lot of potential,’’ said BMR owner Bill McAnally.
DeBard first caught the eyes of talent scouts around the country when he won the 2007 Skip Barber Scholarship Shoot-out at Sebring International Raceway, besting 48 top ranked young race drivers over a three-day competition. DeBard earned a scholarship to compete in the 2007 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. Previous scholarship winners at the Shoot-out include A.J. Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Rey, Patrick Long and Ricky Taylor.
In his first National event, at the March 12 Hours of Sebring, DeBard took the pole in qualifying then finished third in the race. In race two, he finished fourth. DeBard also entered the National races at Miller Motorsports Park, where he finished fourth and seventh, capped by a sixth and a ninth at VIR in the season closers.
DeBard came to a fork in the racing road in 2007… continue in open-wheel road racing or pursue a career in NASCAR? His answer came when he was scouted by Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle (RSWC), a noted driver development team. RSWC owner Sutton felt it was important to put DeBard on oval tracks in the Ford Focus Midget Series. ‘‘The California paved division has some of the best drivers in the nation,’’ DeBard said. ‘‘It pushed me to speed up my learning curve on the circle tracks.’’ DeBard completed his stand-out rookie year with multiple wins, impressive awards and a track record that still stands.
DeBard will run the full 2008 season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at All American Speedway and could eventually pilot one of McAnally’s entries in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. ‘‘I enjoyed my test drive from the start,’’ DeBard said. ‘‘I’m excited to make this big step up in my career and I’m confident I can bring home many wins for BMR.’’ And based on his past performances, DeBard will deliver on this promise.