Derek Kraus is locked in a tight battle to make the playoffs in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The 18-year-old series rookie is 11th in the championship standings – just four points below the cutoff line for the playoffs, with three races remaining in the regular season.
The first of those races is this week at a St. Louis-area track where Kraus scored the biggest victory of his three seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Gates Hydraulic and NAPA Belts & Hoses will be featured as the primary sponsors on his McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Toyota Tundra in Sunday’s event at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
The 1.25-mile track in Madison, Ill., is where Kraus won a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race with Bill McAnally Racing in 2018. A year later, he notched a runner-up finish in the prestigious combo event as he rolled on to win the K&N West championship with BMR.
He returns to the Gateway track with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, while having an outstanding rookie season in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is an offshoot of BMR that was formed to field an entry in the truck series on a full-time basis. The team is led by crew chief Kevin Bellicourt – who took over the general manager duties at Bill McAnally Racing last year.
Kraus is coming off a 10th-place finish in Delaware at Dover International Speedway, where he led his first laps in the series. The Gateway race is the 14th of 23 events on this year’s schedule. Following Gateway, the truck series heads to Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sept. 6 and Richmond (Va.) Raceway on Sept. 10, to wrap up the regular season.
NAPA AUTO PARTS will be well represented at the Gateway track over the weekend – with activation and support at the ARCA race on Saturday, as well as involvement in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race on Sunday.
A special group of guests from NAPA Belts & Hoses and Gates Hydraulics, along with guests from McKay Auto Group and BBB Industries, will be in attendance. They will be treated to a VIP experience pit tour, along with a driver meet-and-greet, gifts and food and beverages. Guests must comply with federal, state and local restrictions – which includes medical screening, hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about Gateway
With your success at Gateway in the NASCAR K&N Series, how eager are you to go there with the truck series?
“I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve had really good runs there in the past. So, I’m very comfortable there. I know everyone at MHR is working really hard. So, I’m really excited to get to the track.”
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Event:
Race: WWT Raceway 200 presented by CK Power (160 Laps) (Race 14) Aug. 30, 2020
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile oval)
Television: FS1 on Aug. 30 at Noon ET
No. 19 Gates Hydraulics/NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wisc.
Career series starts: 18
Most recent series finish: 10th – Dover (8/21/20)
Best career series finish: 4th – Daytona (2/14/20)
2020 Series stats:
Races: 13 starts, 2 top fives, 8 top 10s
Average finish: 11.8
Laps led: 9
Laps completed: 1,553/1,563
Series standings: 11th
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing PR