As the NASCAR K&N Pro Series prepares for its second visit to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Saturday, Derek Kraus is aiming for a repeat win there in the Monaco Cocktails 125 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin wheeled the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry to victory in last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at the 1.250-mile oval – as the series made its inaugural visit to the track near St. Louis.
Kraus heads back to Gateway with an 18-point lead in the K&N West championship standings. He has three wins, six top-five, and eight top-10 finishes in nine K&N West starts this season. He’s coming off a second-place finish at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington this past Saturday.
Some of his toughest competition this year has come from his BMR teammates, Hailie Deegan and Brittney Zamora.
Deegan – an 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Temecula, California – finished 23rd last year at Gateway, after getting caught up in an incident. In K&N West competition this season, she has notched two pole awards in the No. 19 Monster Energy/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry; plus two wins, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in nine series starts. She finished seventh at Evergreen Speedway.
Zamora, 20, of Kennewick, Washington is second in rookie points and fifth in the overall series standings. She has five top-five and six top-10 finishes, along with two pole awards, in nine starts in the No. 99 NAPA Filters/ENEOS Toyota Camry. She had the fast time in qualifying and matched her career-best mark, with a third-place finish at Evergreen Speedway – her home track.
Kraus, Deegan and Zamora are slated to join with other NASCAR drivers and NTT IndyCar Series drivers in a Fanfest at Ballpark Village, across the street from Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The three BMR drivers are also scheduled to be part of an event in which World Wide Technology Raceway is partnering with the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation to host a go-karting experience for a group of students that have been participating in the foundation’s iRacing league this summer. The event will take place at the Kartplex in the WWTR infield beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday.
NAPA AUTO PARTS will be well represented at the track on Saturday, with activation and support through the NAPA Distribution Center in Mt. Vernon, Ill., and a large contingent from McKay Auto Group. They will be provided a VIP inside look that will include a visit to the NASCAR technical inspection area, an inside view of the BMR NAPA transporter, and a walk through the paddock of the NTT IndyCar Series.
The combination race from Gateway will air live on FansChoice. TV – the streaming digital platform that’s airing the entire NASCAR regional series schedule live this year. In addition, it will also be broadcast to a national audience on NBCSN on Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. PT.
The East-West combo event is part of big race weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway that also includes the NTT IndyCar Series in action.