Derek Kraus made a late-race charge in the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Hunter Nation Toyota Tundra to notch a top-10 finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday.
The 19-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin took advantage of a caution late in the event to make a pit stop and resolve handling issues, enabling him to battle from 19th to 10th in the final five laps of the race.
After starting 24th on the grid, Kraus dashed ahead to 17th at the end of Stage 1 on Lap 15. Crew chief Mark Hillman opted not to pit during the caution and remain on track, as did many of the leaders. They waited until just before the end of Stage 2 to pit for tires and fuel under green, then remained out during the subsequent caution at the end of that stage.
Kraus restarted in fifth and was set up for a great run to the finish, but soon began fading back with tire issues and a loose condition. He was 16th when the caution came out on Lap 51, which gave him the opportunity to pit for fresh tires and a chassis adjustment. He was 19th on a Lap 55 restart and quickly began battling his way toward the front to finish 10th.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about the race
What kind of conditions were you battling?
“Our Tundra was really fast in the first stage. After the pit stop, we had some bad tires or something, because it was crazy loose. But after the second stop, the truck was back to normal and we drove to 10th.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: CRC Brakleen 150 (60 Laps) (Race 13 of 22) June 26, 2021
Location: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Penn. (2.5-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 15 / Lap 30 / Lap 60
No. 19 Hunter Nation Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 30th
Finished: 10th (Running, completed 150 of 150 laps)
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
2021 Series Stats:
Races: 13 starts, 1 pole, 3 top 10s
Laps completed: 1,489/1,725
Laps led: 48
Series standings: 15th
Corn Belt 150, July 9, 2021, Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, Iowa (1/2-mile dirt oval).