Kraus shuffled back after strong charge
For Hub City Times
MARTINSVILLE, VA – A late-race shuffle left Stratford’s Derek Kraus with an 18th-place finish on March 23, in his first visit to Martinsville Speedway and his second NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series race.
Kraus had charged up to 12th in Bill McAnally Racing’s No. 19 ENEOS / NAPA Toyota Tundra, but a restart with only three laps to go made way for some rough and tumble action that pushed him high on the track.
The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver qualified 11th; however, during the race he got a lap behind and then battled to get back on the lead lap with about 50 laps remaining. He started picking off the competition from there, working his way toward the top 10 before the caution came out with less than 10 laps to go.
“We fell behind early and had to just work throughout the day to get back on the lead lap,” Kraus said. “Once we did, we were able to pass a lot of trucks with our ENEOS Tundra. We got back up there, but got caught up in someone else’s mess.”
Kraus acknowledged how tough it can be to race around the paperclip-shaped, half-mile Virginia track.
“It’s definitely a challenging place to race,” he said. “It can get frustrating at times, but overall it was a pretty good day for our BMR team.”
This is the first of four races in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series that Kraus is slated to compete in with BMR this year. The next truck series race on his schedule will be at Dover International Speedway in Delaware on May 3.
The race, which was won by Kyle Busch, was televised live on FOX.