After opening the 2021 season last week on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the World Center of Racing on Friday to compete on the road course that winds its way through the infield.
Derek Kraus will be behind the wheel of the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 NAPA AutoCare / Gates Hydraulics NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra as he makes his second career start on the famed 14-turn, 3.61-mile road course.
A solid run by the 19-year-old from Stratford, Wisc., came up short in last year’s event – due to a fuel pump issue. He raced in the top 10 in the early stages of the race, which marked the inaugural series event on the Daytona road course.
Kraus gained road racing experience during his three seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, racing each year at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California. He finished fifth in his first visit there in 2017 and followed that up with a 10th-place finish in 2018 and came home 19th in 2019.
He also grabbed the overall win in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at Sonoma in 2019 – while making his first appearance in that series.
Leading up to this week’s race, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is slated to visit two NAPA AUTO PARTS stores that are part of the Wall Automotive Group. Kraus plans to sign autographs for employees, visit with customers and make some deliveries for the stores – which are located in Daytona Beach and Deland.
Derek Kraus – About this week
What are your thoughts as you get ready to go road racing?
“I’m looking forward to the road race. We will have to start toward the back, so I’ll have to be patient and slowly make my way to the front.”
How are you preparing for this event?
“I’ll be spending time this week on the Toyota sim and also on iRacing.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race (44 Laps) (Race 2 of 22) Feb. 19, 2021
Location: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla. (3.61-mile road course)
Television: FS1 on Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 19 NAPA AutoCare / Gates Hydraulics NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Career series stats: 29 starts, 3 top fives, 15 top 10s
Most recent series finish: 33rd – Daytona (2/12/21)
Best career series finish: 2nd – Darlington (9/6/20)
Last series finish at Daytona Road Course: 30th (8/16/20)