Thursday, October 25, 2018

K&N Pro Series West Finale

K&N Pro Series West Finale

Direction Bakersfield - Tale of Two Dereks!!!

By Vincent Delforge (alias nascar_vd)

That's it, it's the finale. This season in K&N Pro Series West has been very fast. With finally 14 races after the cancellation of the Spokane step, it was necessary to have zero problem and to be very regular to hope to obtain the title of champion.

And except for a huge disaster, and provided there are enough drivers involved (minimum 25 in the entry list), the title can hardly escape to Derek Thorn. He will not have been the most flamboyant on the track with 2 victories (like Kody Vanderwal), 175 laps led on 1872 possible. Only one pole ... But he will have been hyper constant and still in the top 10, still on the lead lap. With an excellent average finish of 3.0. It's experience more than the panache that will allow him on October 27 to obtain a second title of champion in West Series. But beware, this title is well deserved and Derek Thorn is a beautiful champion.

Derek Thorn - #6 Ford (Car Owner: Bob Bruncati)

It’s also a perfect combination between him and his owner Bob Bruncati and his crew chief Bill Sedgwick. Together they reiterate their feat of 2013. For Bob Bruncati, it will be the third title owner (Jason Bowles in 2009 and Derek Thorn in 2013). But far away of the 8 titles of BMR. For Bill Sedgwick, twice champion as a driver (1991 and 1992), it will be the 5th as crew chief (with Mike Duncan in 2004 and 2005, then Bowles 2009 and Thorn 2013). This will put him on par with Parky Nall (5 titles in the 60s) and it will be one more to equal the absolute record held by Richard Elder (6 titles). Congratulations to him, he enters the history of the NASCAR.

Derek Kraus - #16 Toyota (Car Owner: Mike Curb )

That said, personally, I’m a little disappointed because it’s not the "Derek" that I would have liked to see crowned 2018 West champion. Derek Kraus has known the opposite of Derek Thorn. He was incredible on track but lack of being regular. He leads the winner standings with 3 successes, poles with 5, laps led with 569. But he also suffered a crash in Las Vegas, a big mechanical problem in Iowa and finally victim of a collision in Roseville while he was still in the front of the pack at the time.

Luck. We could talk about it for hours. But without a little luck, difficult in motorsport to get the grail. We've seen it, for Derek, in the last two races in K&N Pro Series East. 2018 was not really a lucky year for Derek. This does not detract from his qualities. He demonstrated perfect control behind the wheel. A real mastery. Always impressive during his meteoric returns on the front lead as he makes his way through the pack after a pit stop or other reasons or problems.

Next year will be the last year with the current format for the K&N East and West series. NASCAR has bought ARCA, 2020 will mark a big change. For an old monkey like me, it will be the end of an era. A heartbreak for sure. I’m an eternal lover of the West Series. But wait to see, it may be the beginning of a brand new and beautiful adventure.

I have been wearing a beard for decades. But I'm ready to shave if Derek does not get a good ride for 2019.

So since I'm not in the secret of Gods ...

I formally ask Bill McAnally, for whom I have the greatest respect, but also the NAPA brand to give back the #16 to Derek in 2019 for him to win the title in K&N West. But I'm also asking David Gilliland and Bo LeMastus of DGR-Crosley to give him the #1 in K&N East to allow Derek to become the first driver to win the two K&N crowns the same year. Todd Gilliland had failed in the last race of East in 2017. Derek has the talent to get there and the bad luck will leave him alone. Believe me. Betting on Derek Kraus is an investment that will pay off. So to all who read this, share to the fullest, make your voice heard, express your desire to see Derek get the opportunity to become the champion he deserves to be.

Derek who is the master of Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, CA. In 3 participations here, he got a second place and two wins. Other drivers know they will have to outdo themselves if they want to visit Victory Lane instead of Derek Kraus.

It was my last editorial of the year, I wish you all a good race!
Vincent Delforge (alias nascar_vd)

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