Derek Kraus is our next guest on Fan4Racing NASCAR & Race Talk Review at 8:40 pm ET on Monday, October 28, 2019. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
He came, he saw, he conquered.
Derek Kraus was the overwhelming favorite coming into Kern County Raceway Park, winning the last three events at the California half-mile in successive fashion. He added to his impressive KCRP resume and then some in Saturday’s NAPA/ENEOS 150, leading every lap from the pole and surviving an overtime restart.
“I really like this place,” he said. “It’s fast, you gotta stay right on the bottom of the race track and I kind of like places like that. It’s got a lot of grip. It’s a really great race track. I really enjoy coming here in a late model of K&N car.”
The win was the 99th overall for Bill McAnally Racing. Kraus also had to nail a handful of restarts in the second half of the race, but none more important than the green/white/checkered in overtime.
“There were definitely a lot more nerves going into that last one for sure,” he said. “I feel like whenever I’m leading a race, there’s a yellow within the last five laps, and I just had a stinky feeling something was gonna happen […] feel like I executed that restart really well. Was able to get the lead back, pull away by two car lengths and bring it home with a victory.”
The win is Kraus’ fifth this season in the K&N Pro Series West and seventh overall (two K&N East wins). It’s also his 10th career K&N West win and fourth in a row at KCRP, setting a new K&N Pro Series record.
Only two drivers in the 66-year history of the series have won four consecutive races at the same track. Six-time K&N West champion 1986 Ray Elder accomplished the feat at Gardena (Ascot Park) in 1967, 1968 (both races) and 1970 (no race in 1969) and 1986 champion Hershel McGriff won five consecutive times at Portland Speedway (1971, twice in 1972, twice times in 1973).
Following Kraus across the finish line as the runner-up was Roseville winner Jagger Jones, who rebounded from a flat tire on lap 55 to earn his second-best finish of the season.
Kraus’ Bill McAnally Racing teammates Hailie Deegan and Brittney Zamora, as well as Todd Souza, completed the top-five. Travis Milburn, Dylan Garner, Trevor Huddleston, Brad Kossow, and Zach Telford rounded out the top-ten.
Huddleston also experienced a flat right-front tire and earned two free passes to rebound for a top-ten finish.
Racing-Reference: NAPA/ENEOS 150 RACE RESULTS
With the win, Kraus all but clinched the 2019 championship. All he has to do at ISM Raceway is start the race, as Sam Mayer did for the K&N East season finale, and the title will officially be his.
With his second-place result, Jones now sits second in the standings (-47). Deegan sits third (-51) and Huddleston fourth (-52) with one race remaining.
The NAPA/ENEOS 150 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on October 31 at 6 pm ET.
The next K&N Pro Series West event, the 2019 season finale, will take place at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona on November 9.