Stratford’s Kraus takes first at Douglas County Speedway
For Hub City Times
ROSEBURG, OR – Two 16-year-old NASCAR Next drivers from Bill McAnally Racing claimed the top two spots in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action at Douglas County Speedway on June 30, with Derek Kraus holding off Hailie Deegan in a two-lap dash to the finish to win the Clint Newell Toyota 150 presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS.
It marked the second win of the season and third career series victory for the Stratford driver who pilots the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
Deegan – a rookie from Temecula, CA – grabbed her career-best runner-up finish in just her seventh career start, driving the No. 19 Mobil 1 / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry.
After starting second on the grid, Kraus jumped into the lead on Lap 21 and paced the field to the finish. It appeared he was going to cruise to victory, with a lead of more than six seconds as the laps began to wind down, but that lead evaporated with a string of four cautions late in the race. Although he was challenged on each restart, Kraus maintained command as the racing went into overtime.
“Our NAPA Toyota was really good,” Kraus said. “We were able to get out front with a pretty big lead by the middle part of the race. Then we were really good on the restarts there at the end and that was the difference. We were able to avoid spinning our tires and pulled away.”
Kraus remains third in the championship standings, just nine points out of first. He has two wins, five top-five, and six top-10 finishes in seven races this season.
The next event on the series schedule will be the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA, on July 27.