NASCAR made its much-anticipated debut at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas with an exciting NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday.
Derek Kraus had an up-and-down day in the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 NAPA AutoCare / Gates Hydraulics NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra, battling the competition and wet conditions on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course known as COTA.
The Toyota Tundra 225 was part of a NASCAR tripleheader at the Austin track, which is only about 90 minutes away from where Toyota Tundras are built in San Antonio.
After qualifying 19th, Kraus went on to finish Stage 1 in 18th. In the second stage, he capitalized on different pit strategy and charged up to third – gaining eight stage points. An issue with his radio during the subsequent pit stop, however, required a crew member to change the radio – which put Kraus in 33rd to start the final stage.
He was aggressively moving through the field, when contact from another truck left him turned around backwards on Lap 30. Kraus got going again and mounted another charge toward the front. He was turning lap times equal to the top-five trucks in the final 11 laps, as he worked his way from 33rd to finish 21st.
It was an exciting weekend for MHR. The inaugural visit to COTA provided the team with the opportunity to make new friends, while working with the NAPA Distribution Centers in San Antonio and Houston in conducting sponsor activation. Groups of special guests attended the race and sales programs also provided for VIP garage guests and an NGK VIP guest crew member.
Kraus and team co-owner Bill McAnally made first-time visits to NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and NAPA AutoCare shops in the area, meeting with staff and key customers. They visited multiple locations on Friday morning with Tim Wilks, NAPA District Manager in Austin.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about the race
Talk about your up-and-down day.
“We just need to get some luck. We had another fast Tundra, but got turned around.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: Toyota Tundra 225 (41 Laps) (Race 9 of 22) May 22, 2021
Location: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas (3.41-mile road course)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 12 / Lap 26 / Lap 41
No. 19 NAPA AutoCare / Gates Hydraulics NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Stage 1: 18th
Stage 2: 3rd
Finished: 21st (Running, completed 41 of 41 laps)
Race Winner: Todd Gilliland
2021 Series Stats:
Races: 9 starts, 1 top 10
Laps completed: 949/1,144
Series standings: 18th
North Carolina Education Lottery 200, May 28, 2021, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C. (1.5-mile oval).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!