For Hub City Times
ROSEVILLE, California — Bill McAnally Racing (BMR) recently announced that Derek Kraus will compete for the team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for 2017.
The 15-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin, will contend for the Rookie of the Year Award and overall title as he runs the full schedule in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West while also competing in select events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
“We’re excited to have Derek join the BMR team as he takes the next step in his racing career,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “He impressed us when we had the opportunity for him to get behind the wheel of one of our K&N Pro Series cars in testing. Derek has a great passion for racing and will be an outstanding representative of BMR and our partners. We look forward to working with him.”
Kraus has quickly progressed up the racing ranks and makes the move to the K&N Pro Series after competing in super late models at multiple tracks last year. He will be behind the wheel of BMR’s No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota Camry for the 2017 season.
“I am excited for the opportunity to run the K&N Series with BMR,” Kraus said. “After the test session we had, I’m confident we will do well in representing Toyota, Napa, and Carlyle Tools. I am looking forward to what the 2017 race season will bring.”
In his move to the K&N Pro Series, Kraus joins the ranks of NASCAR’s top developmental series.
Kraus’ father, Mark, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity.
Mark said, “I feel confident that BMR will be a good fit for Derek as we take this next step toward his future.”
Derek began his racing career as a 7-year-old competing in the Wisconsin State Go Kart Series in 2008. Success in karting led him to move up to the Midwest Bandolero Series, where he won championships in 2013 and 2014. He followed that up with a championship in the Midwest Truck Series in 2015. In addition, he also won rookie titles that year in the American Ethanol Super Truck Series and at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Kraus competed in super late models last year, scoring five wins, 16 top-five, and 22 top-10 finishes in 44 starts overall. He finished as the runner-up in the Super Late Model championship points at State Park Speedway for the season and also finished second in the Yellow River Race Series at Marshfield Super Speedway in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
In addition, he finished fourth last year in season championship points and second in the rookie standings in the ARCA Midwest Tour Series. He became the youngest driver to win an ARCA Midwest Tour Series race, breaking a 25-year-old record set by Matt Kenseth.
Kraus was also named as one of seven drivers in the 2016 Ganassi Racing Gen G program, Chip Ganassi Racing’s method of identifying and assisting North America’s top up-and-coming race car drivers.
BMR captured back-to-back titles in the K&N Pro Series West in 2015 and 2016, giving car owner Bill McAnally seven series championships overall, a record for the series and the NASCAR Regional Touring level.