For Kraus, First Win Appears Just Around the Corner

10 Oct 2017
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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the track for the penultimate race of the season, the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by TriCo Welding Supply on Saturday, October 14, at All American Speedway in Roseville, California.

While he won’t win the series championship, 16-year-old Derek Kraus has his sights set on a couple of career milestones as he enters the final two races of the season. A first trip to Victory Lane tops that list of possible achievements for the Stratford, Wisconsin, driver, and with seven top five finishes in 12 starts this season, it’s clear that Kraus is closing on his first win. He has three runner-up finishes this season — at California’s Kern County Raceway Park, Washington’s Spokane County Raceway and Colorado National Speedway — and has finished in the top five in each of the last two races entering the weekend. Kraus sits third in the overall standings. 

Kraus is also locked in a tight Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle with Will Rodgers, sitting five points ahead of Rodgers for the honor. 

Rodgers, too, is inching closer to a first career K&N Pro Series West win, despite being a two-time winner in the East series. The 23-year old from Murrieta, California, won both of his starts on road courses in the East this season — at Watkins Glen and New Jersey Motorsports Park. 

Rodgers is fourth in the West standings, with eight top fives — including three straight entering Roseville — this year.

Kraus and Rodgers sit third and fourth in the championship standings, respectively, and are separated by just one point headed into Saturday.

Kraus' Bill McAnally Racing teammates are also in a battle. Todd Gilliland and Chris Eggleston are in a tight fight for the 2017 championship with Gilliland holding an 11-point lead over Eggleston in the standings.


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Steven B. Wilson

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