Derek Kraus finished 10th in the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Toyota Tundra at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, to net his third top-10 finish in six starts this season in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The 18-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin was the top finishing rookie in the 40-truck field for the Pocono Organics 150 at the 2.5-mile track known as The Tricky Triangle.
Kraus started 13th, by virtue of owner points and a random draw. He was able to gain a couple spots and finish Stage 1 in 11th, despite several cautions in the early laps that prevented a long green-flag run.
His MHR crew made a strategic call to bring him to the pits for tires and fuel during the second stage. Although he finished Stage 2 in 19th, he lined up second on the restart after the leaders made their pit stops. Kraus lost positions when the green flag flew, due to contact from the truck behind him. He settled in 10th in line and was successful in battling to stay in the top 10 to the checkered flag.
Kraus remains 11th in the championship standings – with one top five and three top-10 finishes in six races. He has completed 701 laps of the 704 that were run.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about Pocono
You ran great all day, and you were the top finishing rookie with a top-10 run
“Yeah, it was definitely different. This track is definitely tough. I’ve never been here – never seen the place – until we got on the racetrack. Then, we didn’t get a lot of green flag laps. We were pretty good. We were running the top 10 a lot; we just had a good run. The guys at MHR had a good NAPA AutoCare Toyota Tundra and I’m just happy with how the day ended.”
How difficult is it for you as a rookie to have your first laps at a track be when the green flag waves?
“Yeah, it’s definitely different. It’s challenging. There’s a lot of things I got to learn throughout the race. I just watch film in there as much as I can, and learn as much as I can before I get to the racetrack and just adapt to it throughout the race.”
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Event:
Race: Pocono Organics 150 to benefit Farm Aid, June 27, 2020
Location: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa. (2.5-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 15 / Lap 30 / Lap 60
No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wisc.
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 19th
Finished: 10th (Running, completed 60 of 60 laps)
Race Winner: Brandon Jones
2020 Series Stats:
Races: 6 starts, 1 top five, 3 top 10s
Laps completed: 701/704
Series standings: 11th
Buckle Up In Your Truck 225, July 9, 2020, Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky. (1.5-mile tri-oval)
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing PR