Nine different drivers have visited Victory Lane in 14 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races at Talladega Superspeedway since 2006. Three of those were first-time winners in the truck series.
Derek Kraus, driver of the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Shockwave Seat /ENEOS Toyota Tundra, will try to add his name to that list when he makes his first visit to the 2.66-mile Alabama track when the truck series competes there on Saturday.
The 19-year-old series rookie from Stratford, Wisconsin, has come close to winning his first truck series race this year. He finished second at Darlington Raceway – after charging into the lead going into Turn 1 in an overtime restart and then coming away with a career-best, runner-up finish.
In addition, Kraus had a fourth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. He and the MHR team are working hard to carry their performance forward from that superspeedway event to Saturday’s race.
Shockwave Marine Suspension Seating – which was the primary sponsor on the MHR No. 19 Tundra at Daytona, as well as Las Vegas – will be back on the truck this week at Talladega. Shockwave will also partner with the team at Martinsville Speedway in late October.
Talladega will mark the 400th race for the Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. The first series race for the Tundra was at Daytona on Feb. 13, 2004. Toyota has accumulated eight driver championships and won 197 races in the truck series – along with 11 Manufacturer Championships.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about this week
What do you think about making your first visit to Talladega?
“I’m looking forward to it. The plate races are kinda like a chess match and you have to avoid the big one. I got a lot of experience from Daytona and now I will need to apply it to Talladega.”