Competing in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, Derek Kraus is off to a solid start with five top-fives in eight races, including a victory at Kern County Raceway. The Bill McAnally Racing driver recently spoke with POPULAR SPEED about his thoughts on the campaign thus far, and more.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts on how your season has gone so far?
DEREK KRAUS: So far, this year has been definitely been – well, the win at Kern gave us some momentum, but we struggled at Tuscon and Orange County a little bit so hopefully we turn that around this weekend.
PS: What are your goals overall for the season?
DEREK: For sure, you wanna win as many races as you possibly can. Then if you do that, the championship will play into your favor and you’ll most likely win the championship at the end of the year. So that’s the main goal at the end of the year, but right now it’s just taking it race-by-race each weekend and trying to win races.
PS: What track are you most looking forward to?
DEREK: I look forward to Gateway, and Iowa. I like higher speed, bigger race tracks just because of the adrenaline rush that you get.
PS: What does it mean for you to be part of the NASCAR Next Program?
DEREK: It’s my opportunity to follow in the footsteps of drivers like Darrell Wallace Jr. and Chase Elliott, just because those two they were once in the NASCAR Next Program and got to the top-two series in NASCAR and they’re fan base is big. So this is my opportunity to follow in their footsteps and that’s what I want to do.
PS: What would it mean for you one day to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series alongside those guys?
DEREK: It’d mean a lot, just like at Kern when we were side-by-side with Kevin Harvick on the front row. That was crazy – just 16-years-old and I got to race against Kevin Harvick. It’d definitely be a big accomplishment for me just to make it up to the top level in NASCAR.
PS: How did you get your start in racing?
DEREK: My dad. He raced and then he put in a go-kart, and I really liked it, and I told him this is what I want to do, and here we are now.
PS: What’s been the most memorable moment of your career to date?
DEREK: Probably the win at Bakersfield. That was a really big win just because of how good the field was, and how big the race was just because of being the first time for 175 laps at Kern. That was a big win for sure, and got our season off to a good start.
PS: Who is your racing hero?
DEREK: I really like Carl Edwards. He seems like he’s really good with the friends, and was a really good driver behind the wheel and never got really mad, so I look up to him.
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