Derek Kraus capped off a great weekend at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, driving the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 ENEOS / NAPA Toyota Tundra to a seventh-place finish in the second race of a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series doubleheader and moving up a spot to ninth in the championship standings.
Saturday’s finish, his sixth top-10 in 10 starts this year, came less than 24 hours after the 18-year-old series rookie turned in a fifth-place finish at the 1.5-mile speedway on Friday night.
Kraus, who started 11th by virtue of his finish on Friday, charged to sixth in the early laps. He later lost a few spots after a big slide through Turn 3 and ended the first stage in 10th at Lap 30. After restarting 15th, he began working his way to the front in much the same manner he had done the previous night and finished the second stage in fifth on Lap 60.
Kraus faced two big setbacks at the midway of the race. After restarting 18th on Lap 77, his truck spun coming out of Turn 2. He headed to the pits for fresh tires and fuel under the subsequent caution, but was mired back in 28th on the restart.
He managed to reclaim many positions by avoiding a big wreck just after the restart and then gained even more spots when the other trucks on the lead lap made their pit stop. He restarted in ninth place on Lap 88 and quickly charged into the top five – where he remained through a series of cautions in the second half of the race. He held on in the closing laps to finish seventh.
Kraus had moved to 10th in the standings on Friday, with a four-point margin over the cutoff line for making the playoffs. He jumped to ninth on Saturday, 27 points above the line.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about Kansas
It was a great Kansas weekend for you; talk about the finish today.
“It’s a really good weekend – having a doubleheader. We had a really good first race with our ENEOS Toyota Tundra and we were able to adjust a little bit. Today, we were a little bit too free. But overall, it was a really great weekend. We moved into the top-10 of the points, so that’s really good for our MHR (McAnally-Hilgemann Racing) team. We are really looking forward to Michigan in a couple weeks.”