Thursday, March 25, 2021

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Bristol Race Preview

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Bristol Race Preview

March 27, 2021 “Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt” (Stages 40/90/150 laps = 75 miles)

By: Nascarvd Nascarvédé


Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS at Bristol Race Preview #NASCAR



This Friday 26th and Saturday 27th March is in Tennessee that we are going to eat mud and dust! 


Indeed, it will be the first time that the 0.533 mile oval at Bristol has been covered with a thick layer of dirt for a NASCAR race. If for the Cup Series, there had not been a dirt race since 1970 in Raleigh, NC with the victory of The King Richard Petty himself. 


For the NCWTS it's not necessary to go back so far in time. Because between 2013 and 2019, there were 7 races at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. The half mile belonging to Tony Stewart having offered very good races. Last year, if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn't disrupted everything, there would have been the 8th edition of the Eldora race on July 30. But it was called off, preventing rookie Derek Kraus from making his dirt debut in a national NASCAR Series.


But this year, Eldora is off the NCWTS schedule for obscure reasons. To put it simply, Tony Stewart and NASCAR couldn't come to an agreement.


But NASCAR is never short of ideas. And if she can get complicated, she doesn't hesitate! Because there are so many beautiful dirt tracks in the USA, so why the hell went to put hundreds of tons of dirt on the Bristol oval… At a time when we are talking about ecology and reducing costs… NASCAR managed to do just the opposite. Because what logistics to bring all this dirt on place. Hundreds of trucks… And what a cost to prepare the track before… to dismantle and clean everything a few days later… In short, it's incomprehensible and totally ridiculous.


I will only change my mind if Derek wins the race!


Young Derek Kraus

Young Derek Kraus

Young Derek Kraus



And we come to the experience of Derek Kraus on dirt track. She's not tall. In fact, apart from his first years of GoKart competition (with success), he did not race much on dirt, moving very quickly to asphalt.



Derek Kraus in 2018 at the Tomahawk Speedway,


His most recent races are one race in 2018 at the Tomahawk Speedway, WI in Street Stock Series (7th) and two races in K&N Pro Series West in 2018 (17th) and 2019 (6th) at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track but each time he was the driver who had led the most laps. He had just been unlucky. Note that he had won his qualifying races each time. He will also find many of his opponents from the K&N era such as Sheldon Creed or Hailie Deegan.


Derek Kraus - K&N Pro Series West in 2018

Derek Kraus in 2019 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway



This will be the 2nd time that Hunter Nation has been Derek's main sponsor this year. I hope it goes better than in Las Vegas. Friday there will be two practices which will be very useful to understand this new track. On Saturday there will be the qualifying races. Their results will determine the starting grid for the main race. And you must not damage your truck. Because the main race will take place barely 3 hours later!


The mode for determining the starting grid is once again… complicated… In short, to keep things simple, it will be necessary to finish in the top10 and if possible not to lose position in relation to its starting position…


The main race will consist of 3 segments. Tire changes and refueling will only be allowed during the competition caution between each stage. Relatively short courses with respectively 40, 50 and 60 laps for a total of 75 miles. Either the shortest race of the season.


There are 44 entered including Cup drivers, coming to train on dirt like Martin Truex, Jr. or Kevin Harvick for example. The first thing to do is survive. Because this race is likely to be a real crashfest. 

  • Objective number 1, finish the race. 
  • Objective number 2, finish it as high as possible. 

But with dirt racing specialists like Kyle Larson, Stewart Friesen or Sheldon Creed. It might be difficult for victory. But Derek is a fighter and is always in “never give up” mode!


Matt Noyce did only one race as a crew chief in NCWTS on dirt. It was in 2019 at Eldora with Ben Rhodes. They had obtained the 14th position.


Finally, note that there will be three (3) girls with Hailie Deegan, Jennifer Jo Cobb and newcomer Jessica Friesen who is none other than the wife of Stewart Friesen. And this will be the first time that a husband and wife couple have competed in a national NASCAR race at the same time since Elton Sawyer and Patty Moise. It was November 7, 1998 at Atlanta in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.


GO Derek GO !!


Entry list, starting lineup and much more here:


Race live this Saturday on FS1 at 8:00 p.m. ET (Qualifying races at 4:30 p.m.)


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