Kraus has first career win, clinches Rookie of the Year
For Hub City Times
BAKERSFIELD, California — Derek Kraus captured his first career series win with a victory in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Championship 150 Nov. 4 in Bakersfield.
Kraus, a 16-year-old NASCAR K&N Pro Series West rookie from Stratford, Wisconsin, finished third in points in the series standings in the No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota Camry.
Kraus, who clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, was elated to also bring home his first series win.
“We saved the tires, and I think that’s what helped us at the end of the race,” Kraus said.
He credited his spotter, Eric Holmes, with urging him to conserve his tires.
“Eric was staying in my ear the whole night, telling me, ‘Save tires. Save tires,’ and that’s what we did,” said Kraus, who started the race on the outside of the front row.
“It’s a really good night with getting my first race win in the number 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota and winning the Rookie of the Year,” Kraus said. “That’s really great for me and my career and gives us a boost toward next season.”
Kraus registered one win, nine top-five finishes, and 10 top 10s this year. He was the top finishing rookie in seven of the 14 races.