For Hub City Times
ROSEVILLE, California — Rookie Derek Kraus, driver of the No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing (BMR), looks to continue his impressive freshman season as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads into the final events on this year’s 14-race schedule.
Kraus, who turned 16 in September, leads rookies in points and is third in the overall championship standings for the series. The Stratford, Wisconsin, teenager has eight top-10 finishes in 12 starts this year, including second-place finishes on three occasions, and was the top finishing rookie in five of the 12 races.
“It’s been really good so far,” Kraus said of his season. “We’re still trying to get that first win. Everyone at the shop has been working really hard to help me get it.”
Kraus credits his crew and the BMR equipment for helping him try to stay ahead of the learning curve as he transitioned this year from super late models to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
“The equipment that Bill McAnally provides me that I’m in at BMR is really good,” he said. “Ty, John, and all the crew work hard. They bring a really good Carlyle Tools Toyota to the track. The setup is where it needs to be or really close right out of the trailer. That’s a big part of it. If you’re off at the beginning, it can take much of your practice to get it where it needs to be. I think everywhere we went this year it’s been really good right away.”
Kraus’ biggest competition this year has come from his BMR teammates Todd Gilliland and Chris Eggleston, who have won 10 of the series’ 12 races so far. Gilliland leads Eggleston by 11 points in the overall standings.
“We finished one, two, three at several races,” Kraus said.