Kraus caps off strong day with top 10 at Atlanta
For Hub City Times
HAMPTON, GA – Derek Kraus capped off a strong performance with a seventh-place finish in his inaugural visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Vet Tix Camping World 200 on June 6.
His finish in the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 NAPA AutoCare/ENEOS Toyota Tundra gave the 18-year-old his second top-10 finish in four NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races this season.
After starting 11th, Kraus slipped back in the early laps, due to the splitter of his truck hitting the track. Working past that issue, he began to move toward the front. Kraus was 12th at the end of Stage 1 on Lap 30 and third at the end of Stage 2 on Lap 60. He restarted second, but being in the outside line got shuffled back to seventh.
Kraus remained in seventh until making a green-flag pit stop on Lap 96, returning to the track in 11th. He moved up to 10th as the laps wound down, then dashed up to seventh in the last two laps following an overtime restart. The finish moved him to ninth in the championship standings.
Kraus had not turned any laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway prior to the race.
The race was run under a health and safety plan implemented by NASCAR after the Covid-19 pandemic – with practice and qualifying eliminated, as well as being run without fans in attendance.
“It was really good. We started 11th, and kind of fell back a little bit,” Kraus said. “It was hitting the splitter a little bit, but once we got going, the splitter came off the race track and that’s when we started running really good times. Everyone at MHR brought a really good NAPA Auto Care Toyota Tundra, and that helped a lot with the second and final stage with finishing seventh.”