Kraus dominates in K&N West win at Kern
For the City Times
BAKERSFIELD, CA – Derek Kraus has become a dominant force when it comes to NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competition at Kern County Raceway Park.
The 17-year-old from Stratford wheeled the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry to Victory Lane at the high-banked, half-mile track for the third consecutive time – winning the NAPA AUTO PARTS 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame on Oct. 27, as the series closed out its 2018 season.
It was a season-leading fourth win this year for Kraus, and marked his fifth career series victory.
Kraus, who started second on the grid, charged out front early. He went on to pace nearly the entire 175-lap event. He had stretched out a lead of about seven seconds late in the race, when a caution set up a dash to the finish. He regained command on the restart and pulled away to win by a margin of 1.496 seconds.
“Our NAPA Toyota was really good,” Kraus said. “It had really good drive off the corners and fired off on the restarts really well, too.”
That performance gave him confidence on the final restart, he said.
“I knew there was probably going to be a caution. There always is,” he said. “But I knew we had a good car in the short runs and long runs. I was confident it would be there for me going into Turn 1.”
In comparing this win with his previous victories at KCRP, Kraus said this one is special.
“It was good to get this one, because of how dominant we were,” he said. “It showed how good the car was.”
It’s also a good way to wrap up the year, Kraus added.
“It’s great to get the last win of the season and go into the off season with a lot of confidence and momentum,” he said.
Kraus finished fourth in the standings. He led the series this season in terms of wins, with four, and poles, with five. He also led the most laps of competition. He registered eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes this season.
The NAPA AUTO PARTS 175 from Kern is slated to be televised on NBCSN on Nov. 1.