Derek Kraus led flag to flag in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action at Douglas County Speedway on Saturday night to win the Clint Newell Auto Group/Toyota 150 presented by ENEOS and NAPA AUTO PARTS for a second straight year.
It marked the third victory this year and eighth career series win by the 17-year-old driver of the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
“It was a really good NAPA Toyota they prepared for me,” said Kraus, who set the fast time in qualifying to win his first pole of the year. “It was really good on longer runs. It fired off a little tight, but overall once you got 10 or 15 laps on these tires it was really fast. I can’t thank these BMR guys enough.”
The victory extended BMR’s dominance at the fairgrounds track in Roseburg, Oregon – with eight wins in the past nine K&N West races there. All three BMR drivers finished in the top five on Saturday, with Hailie Deegan taking third in the No. 19 Monster Energy / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry and series rookie Brittney Zamora grabbing fifth in the No. 99 ENEOS / NAPA Filters Toyota Camry.
While Kraus paced the field throughout the 150-lap event on the tight 3/8-mile track, Deegan and Zamora were in a dogfight for positions behind him.
Deegan – who qualified second – paced Kraus in the early going, but got shuffled back to fourth after restarting in the outside lane. She spent most of the race working her way back up to the runner-up spot, but then lost positions again with a late-race restart in the outside lane. She battled back to take third.
“The outside lane was just so bad on restarts,” Deegan said. “It was just so slick up there. It’s such tight racing, it’s hard to get down. By the time I got down, I was fifth and had to make my way back up. It’s just strategy and how lucky you get with the yellows.”
Zamora faced a similar consequence. She started sixth on the grid, but dropped to seventh on the start due to being in the outside lane. She battled to get to the inside lane on each restart. Then, late in the race, she was able to make a move to break into the top five.
With the dominant win, Kraus was able to build on the slim one-point lead he held in the championship standings coming into the event. The NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin leads his BMR teammate, Deegan, by eight points. Along with his three wins, he has four top-five and six top-10 finishes in seven starts this season. In addition to leading the points in the K&N West, Kraus leads the championship standings in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Deegan, also a 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver, hails from Temecula, California. She has two victories, two poles, five top-five, and six top-10 finishes in seven starts.
Zamora – a 20-year-old from Kennewick, Washington – is second in rookie points and sixth in the overall standings. She has one pole, four top-five and five top-10 finishes.
Completion of the Roseburg race, which was the seventh event on this year’s series schedule, marked the halfway point of the season. BMR has won five of the seven races.
Special activities leading up to the race included having the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry on display at the Clint Newell Auto Group dealership in Roseburg and a team appearance at the NAPA AUTO PARTS Store in nearby Winston. BMR’s 2-seater No. 16 NAPA Toyota was in action, providing sponsor guests a lap around the speedway. Guests were treated to a VIP Hospitality at the track on Saturday.
The race will be televised to a national audience on NBCSN on July 4 at 3 p.m. PT.
The next event on the K&N West schedule will be a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway on July 26.
Bill McAnally Racing PR