Derek Kraus and the No. 16 Bill McAnally team earned their fifth win of the 2019 season Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park. Though, it didn’t come all that easy for Kraus, as a late race caution flew on lap 148 for the No. 7 of Brad Kossow. This eventually set up a Overtime finish, but Kraus fielded off Jagger Jones and teammate Hailie Deegan to get the victory.
“I really like this place,” he said. “It’s fast, you gotta stay right on the bottom of the race track and I kind of like places like that. It’s got a lot of grip. It’s a really great race track. I really enjoy coming here in a late model of K&N car.”
Kraus started first and finished first, leading all 155 laps along the way en route to victory. However, there were a few cautions that were seen throughout the NAPA/ENEOS 150. In fact, the race saw six cautions Saturday night.
The first caution flew on lap 40 for the No. 9 of Trevor Huddleston, who had a flat tire in Turn 4. The Sunrise Racing team had more trouble, as the night grew long. Huddleston’s teammate, Jagger Jones also faced the same issues on lap 56 in Turn 2. Though out of the two, Jones rebounded to a second place finish, while Huddleston placed eighth after starting second.
Then, the halfway break came on lap 77, which allowed teams to make adjustments to their cars on pit road. When the green flag flew on lap 80, there was a long green flag run that saw 37 laps ran before a caution on lap 117 slowed the pace once more. The final yellow was on lap 147 of the No. 7 of Brad Kossow who went for a spin in Turn 2.
With that late caution, a three lap dash to the finish was set up on lap 153. The caution bunched the field up again and it gave Jones and Deegan a chance to challenge Kraus for the victory. Despite the restart, the Stratford, Wisconsin native pulled off the fifth win of what has been a strong season for Kraus and his No. 16 Bill Mcanally team.
Jagger Jones, Hailie Deegan, Brittney Zamora and Todd Souza rounded out the top five finishers for the second to last race of the season.
“There were definitely a lot more nerves going into that last one for sure,” he said. “I feel like whenever I’m leading a race, there’s a yellow within the last five laps, and I just had a stinky feeling something was gonna happen […] feel like I executed that restart really well. Was able to get the lead back, pull away by two car lengths and bring it home with a victory.”
With the championship in sight at ISM Raceway in just a couple of weeks, all Kraus really has to do is start the race to claim his first NASCAR Series title. In the past two years, he has finished third and fourth, respectively in points.
- Derek Kraus, led all 155 laps
- Jagger Jones
- Hailie Deegan
- Brittney Zamora
- Todd Souza
- Travis Milburn
- Dylan Garner
- Trevor Huddleston
- Brad Kossow, two laps down
- Zach Telford, two laps down
- Takuma Koga, five laps down
- Taylor Canfield, seven laps down
- Jack Wood, OUT, Electrical
Up Next: The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West wraps up their 2019 season in just a couple of weeks at ISM Raceway on Saturday November 9.