Derek Kraus had one of the more spectacular finishes of his young career in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, taking eighth while spinning backwards across the finish line in his No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Toyota Tundra at Michigan International Speedway on Friday.
It was a fitting finish for the 18-year-old rookie, capping off a race that featured a record number of cautions and went into overtime twice before the checkered flag flew.
The multiple cautions in the final 20 laps nearly prevented Kraus from getting back into the top 10, after a flat right rear tire required a pit stop and put him deep in the field less than 30 laps from the finish.
Kraus, who had started ninth and ran in the top five on two occasions, scrambled to mount a late-race charge. He was up to 16th with 10 laps remaining, but could not gain ground on the leaders as the yellow flag waved over and over. He charged from 15th on the final restart and was ninth when he took the white flag a lap later. He was battling for seventh heading to the finish when he got turned around, but still managed to cross the finish line.
With his Michigan finish, Kraus remains ninth in the championship standings – 30 points above the cutoff for making the playoffs.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about Michigan
How was the race for you?
“Overall, it was a pretty good race and ended up eighth. We got stage points in both stages and just struggled on pit stops again, which seems to be a thing that happens for us quite a bit. Once we got done with the pit stops, I felt like we were able to work our way back to the front. Got to eighth at the end there and had a good solid top-10, good points day. Finishing both stages and getting stage points was big. Ready to move onto the road course in Daytona.”
What did you think of the ‘choose rule’ in today’s race?
“I liked it. It kind of brought a whole new challenge to the race. If you were farther back in the field – obviously the top lane was dominant so a lot of people picked the top and a few that were farther back in the field could take the bottom. It was just another option. Just like Late Model races where you’ve got options on the restarts. I feel like it was definitely a move in the right direction.”
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Event:
Race: Henry Ford Health System 200, Aug. 7, 2020
Location: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich. (2-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 20 / Lap 40 / Lap 100
No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wisc.
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 10th
Finished: 8th (Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)
Race Winner: Zane Smith
2020 Series Stats:
Races: 11 starts, 2 top fives, seven top 10s
Laps completed: 1,306/1,310 (Ranks 1st)
Series standings: 9th
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Event, Aug. 16, 2020, Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Daytona Beach, Fla. (3.57-mile road course)
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!