Kraus turns in top 10 finish at Pocono
BY MIKE WARREN
LONG POND, PA — A strong top-10 finish by Stratford’s Derek Kraus at Pocono Raceway on July 23 came up just short of putting the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing driver into the playoffs for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
His ninth-place finish in the final regular season race left the driver of MHR’s No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet Silverado just 17 points below the cutoff for the playoff field.
“We had a fast Chevy Silverado for most of the race, but the power steering went away,” Kraus said after the race. “We’ll move on and keep our heads high and go on to the next seven races.”
Kraus gained ground this past month in the chase for the playoffs, with an average finish of 8.5 in the final four races of the regular season. His ninth-place finish on Saturday bettered the 10th-place finishes he registered at Pocono in each of the past two years.
After practice and qualifying on Friday were cancelled due to weather, the lineup was set per the rule book – with Kraus starting seventh for the 60-lap CRC Brakeleen 150. Derek ran in the lead pack and finished fifth in the first segment of the race.
In the second segment, Kraus and his team opted to pit early under green with other leaders. After the field cycled through pit stops, Kraus restarted the final segment in sixth. He ran strong, but lost a couple spots in the final laps with a leak in his power steering system.
In his 66th career start, the 20-year-old Kraus registered his 25th top-10 finish, and his sixth this season.
He currently ranks 11th in the series standings, heading into the T-Sport200 Friday, July 29 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg, IN.