A charge toward the front of the field by Derek Kraus came to an early end in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday night.
The 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin was on the move in the Bill McAnally Racing No. 19 ENEOS / NAPA Toyota Tundra; before a broken transmission ended his effort and left him with a 27th-place finish.
Kraus – making his first start on a 1.5-mile speedway – had qualified 24th and was looking to make up ground on the leaders. Handling issues in the first stage of the race prevented him from making any significant moves, but adjustments by his BMR crew during the subsequent pit stop got him on track and headed toward the front.
He was up to 18th by Lap 43 and into the 15th spot by Lap 50 of the 134-lap race. He took on fresh tires and fuel, along with getting a minor adjustment to his Tundra, during a pit stop following the conclusion of Stage 2. From there, Kraus looked to continue his charge. His race came to an early end, however, with transmission trouble on Lap 77.
The event, which was televised live on FOX Sports 1 and was also carried live on MRN radio, was won by Austin Hill.
Friday’s race was the third of four races in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series that Kraus is competing in this season in the BMR No. 19 ENEOS / NAPA Toyota Tundra. He finished 18th at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway in March and eighth at Dover International Speedway in Delaware in May. His fourth race will be at ISM Raceway near Phoenix in November.
Kraus made his debut in the truck series late last season, with an eighth-place finish at ISM Raceway.
The truck races he is running this year are on off weekends from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – where he is in his third full season competing for BMR, driving the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. He leads the championship standings by 29 points – with three wins, seven top-five, and nine top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season.
In addition to running the full K&N West schedule, Kraus also competed in the first eight races this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East – where he scored two wins. He led the standings of both divisions through much of the first half of the season.