Derek Kraus made a late-race charge in the Bill McAnally Racing No. 19 ENEOS Toyota Tundra to finish eighth in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday.
It marked the second top-10 finish in just his third series start for the 17-year-old and matched the eighth-place finish he notched in his series debut late last season.
“It was a good race,” said the NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin. “We had a good No. 19 ENEOS Toyota Tundra.”
Kraus, who started 15th at the high-banked track known as the Monster Mile, emphasized the importance of running up front.
“Clean air and track position are so huge at these races,” he said. “We fell back a little at the beginning. Once we got clean air, we got going toward the front. It was a good day overall.”
Kraus said he learned a lot during the 200-lap event, which benefited him as the race went on.
“You have to stay consistent and you have to be really aggressive on the restarts,” he said. “I feel like the longer I ran, the better I got as a driver.”
Friday’s race, which was won by Johnny Sauter, is the second of four events Kraus is scheduled to run this year with BMR in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Those four races are on off weekends from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – where he is in his third full season competing for BMR, driving the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. He is currently fourth in the K&N West championship standings, three points out of first – after finishing sixth at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track and third at Irwindale Speedway.
In addition to running all the K&N West races this year, Kraus is also competing in select events on the K&N East schedule. He won the K&N East season opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and finished sixth at Bristol Motor Speedway, putting him second in points.
He’s doing double duty this weekend and is headed to Virginia for a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East doubleheader at South Boston Speedway on Saturday.