Meridian, ID -- Derek Kraus came out on top in a tough short-track battle at Meridian Speedway on Saturday, taking the victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West NAPA AUTO PARTS Idaho 208.
It marked the ninth career series win, and fourth victory this season for the 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin. The driver of the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry also has two wins this year in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition.
“We’ve been here three years in a row,” he said of the quarter-mile Idaho track, known as the Concrete Jungle. “We’ve led a lot of the laps, but something happened to let the win slip away. We finally got it done tonight. I’m really excited for my NAPA Toyota team. They worked their tails off on this race car.”
Kraus also expressed his appreciation to the fans who packed the venue.
“Thanks to all the fans that turned out tonight,” he said. “This track has never failed to pack the place. It’s really cool as a race car driver to come to a track like this. And thanks to everyone at BMR, NAPA, and Toyota.”
His BMR teammates, Hailie Deegan in the No. 19 Monster Energy/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry and Brittney Zamora in the No. 99 ENEOS / NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, ran in the top five for much of Saturday’s race. Deegan made history in winning the race a year ago and becoming the first female to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race. She started second this year and was in contention for the lead until contact from another car turned her Toyota into the wall on Lap 132. She salvaged a 13th-place finish.
Zamora started third and raced in the top five until getting shuffled back in a couple of late-race restarts. She finished eighth.
Kraus, who started seventh, steadily worked his way to the front and took over the lead with a pass on the outside following a restart just past the midway point of the event. He then had to hold off challenges for the lead over and over, again; with multiple cautions and restarts in the late stages of the race.
With his victory, Kraus extended his lead in the championship standings to 40 points, with three races remaining. Along with four wins, he has eight top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes in 11 series starts this season.
Deegan – an 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Temecula, California – is third in the standings, 45 points out of first. She has two wins, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in her 11 K&N West starts this year.
Zamora – a 20-year-old from Kennewick, Washington – is fifth in the overall championship standings and second in rookie points for the series. She has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 11 series starts.
In advance of the race, the BMR team made a special appearance on Friday for the Dyson Group at a big customer appreciation sales event at the NAPA AUTO PARTS Store in Meridian. BMR’s three drivers participated in a special meet-and-greet with customers.
An ENEOS Hospitality area was featured at the track on Saturday. Guests of NAPA Belts & Hoses and a great group from NAPA Spokane also received the VIP treatment.
The Meridian race will be televised to a national audience on NBCSN on Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. PT.
The next event on the K&N West schedule will be the NAPA AUTO PARTS / ENEOS 150 at All American Speedway in Roseville, California on Oct. 12.
-Bill McAnally Racing Press Release
-Photo Credit: Meg Oliphant/NASCAR