Perhaps it was the extra session, but the best showing of three Wisconsin racers at Martinsville Speedway Friday (March 22, 2019) belonged to the rookie.
Technically, Derek Kraus, from Stratford, is not a rookie. He took part one round of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events last season, but that was at Phoenix, not this half-mile steep banked bullring in Virginia.
As a first-timer, Kraus was able to take part in an early test session in his #19 ENOES/NAPA Filters Toyota Tundra along with seven others and it didn’t take him long to figure out the track, posting a best lap of 20.333 seconds to place third in that small group. Shortly after the entire field took to the track for two more sessions.
Kraus was able to nudge his speed up a bit and posted the seventh fastest trip in practice with a 20.003 circuit, 5/1000 of a tick in front of Necedah’s Johnny Sauter who was right behind him on the timing sheet in his #13 Tenda Heal Ford F-150.
Also representing Wisconsin is Travis Kvapil, the Janesville racer making his first start in the Truck series since Daytona in February of 2018 in the #1 Beaver Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Kvapil posted a best lap time of 20.793 seconds, ranking him 33rd of 38 who tested, but just tenths of a second away from a much higher spot.
Drivers wrapped up action Friday afternoon and are scheduled to return Saturday morning for qualifying, beginning at 9:40 a.m. (Central) with the Martinsville TruNorth Global 250 going green at 1 p.m.