Saturday, August 7, 2021

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS At Watkins Glen: Race Preview

Derek Kraus: 2021 NCWTS At Watkins Glen: Race Preview

August 8, 2021 “United Rentals 176 at the Glen” (Stages 20/45/72 laps = 176.4 miles)

By Nascarvd Nascarvédé

Derek Kraus #19 #NASCAR Watkins Glen Camping World Truck Series

“We're going to eat the big apple!”

This Saturday the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers meet in New York State. The legendary Watkins Glen Road Circuit will be the setting for the 15th and final race of the regular season. The last chance for many drivers to qualify for the Playoffs, including Derek Kraus


Currently 12th in the championship, he can mathematically still integrate the top10 synonymous with direct qualification to play the title. But on the sole condition of making a full box. Win the race and the first two stages. Because with 53 points behind Stewart Friesen he has no other choice. Or hope that Friesen and Chandler Smith (who is 40 points ahead of Derek) finish low in the standings and score the minimum number of points. Derek has already managed to score 52 points in Knoxville, his career personal best. As a reminder in NCWTS the maximum possible points in a race is 60. The "easiest" and safe for Derek is to win the race because it is the assurance of getting his entry ticket for the Playoffs regardless what his closest opponents in the driver standings will do in the race.


Watkins Glen has been on the NASCAR racing calendar since 1957. This hilly track has already seen all of the world's greatest disciplines in motorsports perform on its asphalt between its legendary light blue safety rails. F1, Indycar, IMSA, even the motorbikes of WSBK, and pretty much every series from NASCAR.


Derek knows the track having raced there in 2019 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Starting from the back of the peloton following unapproved adjustments, he was able to climb back into the top10 in 9th position. Unfortunately, the race was cut short due to the rain and lightnings.


But this experience will benefit him. Indeed, there will be neither practice nor qualifying session here. Directly the race.




Thanks to his last good results at Knoxville, he will start the race in 7th position. There will be 72 laps to go. The first two stages each counting 20 laps. It's a fairly short race in duration because the track is very fast. Last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the race was canceled but if we look at the stats of the last race in 2019, the pole in the Cup Series was above 127 mph and over 124 mph in Xfinity Series. And since the NCWTS trucks are known to perform similarly to the NXS cars on the road tracks, this gives an idea of the speeds achieved on the long straight lines of the Glen. The first corner is the slowest on the circuit. The fan favorite place, the famous Esses or the Bus Stop chicane being are very fast portions.


Rumors have it that this will be the last time NASCAR uses the short version of Watkins Glen. The long version used in Indy or IMSA should be used from 2022. A wish of fans and especially drivers for more than ten years.


This weekend the #19 Toyota Tundra from McAnally-Hilgemann Racing will wear the Hunter Nation  blue and white colors for the 5th time this season. There will be 40 trucks at the start. The peculiarity of the pitlane is that it is the other way around... So the refueling is on the right and not on the left and it is on the driver's side that the tires are changed first in a 4-tire pit stop. But nothing was left to chance as MHR posted a video on their Twitter account of the pit crew training!


Note that on such a hilly road circuit and with the trees obstructing the spotter's vision, it is not one but two spotters that Derek will have the chance to hear through his helmet. After the interim in Knoxville assured by Jeff Gotelaer, it is the return of the usual Freddie Kraft who will be joined here by Anthony Warren. At 42, this former Late Models driver residing in Norfolk, Virginia, is an experienced spotter having worked with Kyle Larson, for example, for years. Since his K&N East period with REV Racing to Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series this year on the road crew and as an additional spotter. But he's also used to the NCWTS as he was Todd Gilliland's spotter in Knoxville.


No VD logo on Derek's truck this time around. Hopefully the 2 grams less will allow the #19 to be the fastest on the track!


Entry list, starting lineup and much more here:


Race live this Saturday on FS1 at 12:30 p.m. ET



Derek Kraus #19 #NASCAR Watkins Glen Camping World Truck Series
Derek Kraus #19 #NASCAR Watkins Glen Camping World Truck Series
Derek Kraus #19 #NASCAR Watkins Glen Camping World Truck Series



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