Derek Kraus, 18, from Stratford once again played a big part in the NASCAR K&N West Series race this past weekend, wrapping up a third place showing in his #16 Bill McAnally Racing NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry.
Kraus once again racked up the most laps led at the event, moving up from his fifth best qualifying spot to lead 91 laps at the 150-Lap Eneos NAPA Auto 150 at Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, CA. He did the same at the Series opening race at Las Vegas Speedway.
McAnally Racing teammate and winner of the Vegas race, Hallie Deegan from Temecula, CA posted the fastest qualifying time, but by the end of the first circuit, Kraus was leading the pack and he owned that spot for the first 25-Laps before Tanner Gray took control with his Toyota Camry.
The first caution flew on Lap 71 and Kraus recaptured the lead immediately on the restart four laps later, leading the field through a few more yellows to within seven-Laps of the Checkered Flag when Trevor Huddleston from nearby Agoura Hills, CA grabbed the spot. Tanner Gray also found a way by Kraus into second, Kraus finishing third.
Kraus, who has led 151 of 250 Laps run so far this season is now tied for third in the standings, just three points behind Deegan and one behind Huddleston. Jagger Jones is even with Kraus in third.
The McAnally Race team will head back to the K&N East series this weekend, paying a visit to the Bristol Speedway in Tennessee and Kraus will enter the event as the series points leader having won the opening race at New Smyrna Florida during Speedweeks in February. This weekends event will be the Zombie Auto 150.
Decker making K&N Series debut
Also in the K&N field will be Natalie Decker of Eagle River. In the DGR Crossley Race team, also racing a Toyota Camry.
Like Kraus, Decker has been busy in the early weeks of the season, already with three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races, one ARCA Menards race, a visit to the Trans Am, Presented by Pirelli Series race at Sebring and last weekend, at the W Series final tests/tryouts in Spain.
This will however, be Decker’s first K&N Series event and also her first time on the steep half-mile banked overall at Bristol.