Thursday, February 14, 2019

Derek Kraus’ Tire Strategy Earns Him the #NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Win

Derek Kraus’ Tire Strategy Earns Him the #NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Win

Wins After Starting Sixteenth in The Nineteen-Car-Field

Derek Kraus claimed his second career #NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory  at New Smyrna Speedway on Monday night.
Derek Kraus claimed his second career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory
at New Smyrna Speedway on Monday night. (Russell LaBounty/Nigel Kinrade)

Hailie Deegan, the Temecula, California native, was quickest (18.316 seconds) in the 90-minute K&N Pro Series East practice session ahead of Sunday’s 'New Smyrna 175' at New Smyrna Speedway

Hailie Deegan leads the field to the green flag. #NASCAR
Hailie Deegan leads the field to the green flag. (Rusty Jarrett/Nigel Kinrade)


Practice speed proved most important as qualifying was rained out and starting position were determined by performance in the one and only practice session.

Top-Five in Practice

  1. Hailie Deegan (18.316 seconds)
  2. Drew Dollar (18.357)
  3. Brandon McReynolds (18.366)
  4. Sam Mayer (18.368)
  5. Colin Garrett (18.470)

Race Winner, Derek Kraus found himself starting sixteenth in his #16 BMR NAPA Auto Parts / Curb Records Toyota.

After being postponed to Monday night due to rain, Kraus, who hails from Stratford, Wisconsin, emerged victorious by using tire conservation in route to his second career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory.

“What really helped me (save tires) was running with Todd (Gilliland) for three years,” he said. “He was really good at saving tires. I just tried to remember back then and that’s what I felt like I did. I probably didn’t save the right front as well as I needed to because I was driving it in pretty deep, but I felt like I saved as well as I could. Brandon (McReynolds) and Hailie (Deegan) I know dropped way back, I didn’t feel comfortable dropping that far back, because track position is huge here.”

Derek Kraus celebrates with his No. 16 Bill McAnally Racing team - #NASCAR
Derek Kraus celebrates with his No. 16 Bill McAnally Racing team
following his victory in the New Smyrna 175 at New Smyrna Speedway.
(Rusty Jarrett/Nigel Kinrade Photography for NASCAR)


Kraus made his move with about forty laps remaining as leaders, Colin Garrett and Ty Gibbs, made contact while battling for the top spot.

“They were racing each other pretty hard,” Kraus recapped. “I had to stay on my toes for them to make contact and that’s exactly what they did. They drifted up in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I saw an opening so that’s when I took it. I might’ve gotten in the grass, but I got it done.”
The next event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be the ‘Zombie Auto 150’ on Saturday, April 6 at Bristol Motor Speedway.


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