Kraus tops among BMR drivers in ARCA West opener
For the Hub City Times
ARIZONA – Derek Kraus of Stratford led the way among Bill McAnally Racing drivers, with a top-10 finish as the ARCA Menards Series West kicked off its 2022 season under the lights Friday night at Phoenix Raceway.
Kraus drove the No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet SS to a ninth-place finish among 39 starters in the General Tire 150, which served as a combination race with the ARCA Menards Series.
Cole Moore, last year’s series rookie of the year, came away with an 11th-place finish in BMR’s No. 99 NAPA Power Premium Plus Chevrolet SS. Austin Herzog, embarking on his rookie season in the series, charged to a 14th-place finish in the BMR No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS.
Kraus started 14th on the grid and charged into the top 10 in the first two laps of the race. Moore was also on the move in the early stages of the race – advancing from this 19th-place starting spot to 13th in the first 25 laps. Herzog, making just his second series start and his first at the one-mile Phoenix track, ran a steady race – but spun and lost a lap just before the midway break.
Kraus battled just inside the top 10 throughout the race, with Moore a couple spots behind him. Herzog charged from 20th at the break to get back on the lead lap late in the race. The race went into overtime and finished with a green-white-checkered finish – as Kraus took 9th, Moore finished 11th and Herzog came away in 14th.
The race marked BMR’s reuniting with Chevrolet, with the team running the bowtie brand for the first time since 2007.
Prior to Friday’s event, BMR drivers and team owner Bill McAnally visited NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and NAPA AutoCare shops in the
Phoenix area. A special group from NAPA Power Premium Plus/BBB Industries, along with Gates Industrial and NGK, attended the race as VIP guests of the team. BMR drivers also participated in a special autograph session on Friday afternoon. In addition, Kraus participated in a special question-and-answer session with fans.