Local teen racer competes in ‘Search for a Champion’
By Kris Leonhardt
STRATFORD — A Stratford driver has been burning up the track. At 15 years old, 2015 earned him a truck series championship and two “Rookie of the Year” titles. Now Derek Kraus has set his sights on a new champion title, in Champion Spark Plugs’ “Search for a Champion.”
“The ‘Search for A Champion’ enables grassroots racers to compete for sponsorship by creating entries that demonstrate their commitment to winning,” said Derek’s mother, Kathy Kraus.
To enter, Derek and his team put together a two-minute video highlighting Derek and his driving career. From there the public votes on the driver they would like to see as a finalist.
“Each contest entry will be judged against the other entries in their category by the following criteria: inspirational quality (34 percent), best depiction of a champion (33 percent), and number of votes from the public (33 percent),” said Kathy. “Fifteen advanced finalists will receive a sponsorship by Champion for one year in the amount of $5,000 and up to $1,000 in Champion gear and products.”
The 15 finalists will then compete for a $50,000 grand prize.
Derek began his racing career at the age of 7 in go-carts and later progressed to bandoleros at the age of 11. Two years ago Derek entered the truck series and has been in the fast lane ever since.
As an experienced racer, Derek has been placed in the advanced category of the competition, contending against a gallery of adult racers.
The contest’s public voting phase ends on Feb. 2, 2016. To learn more or vote for Derek, visit sfac.championautoparts.com/search-for-a-champion.
If chosen as one of the finalists, Derek and his team will use the sponsorship for the 2016 racing season.