16-Year-Old Takes Weekend Spotlight
While the NASCAR Cup Series enjoyed a rare weekend off, other stock-car racing was in action in Canada as well as the Midwest. Near St. Louis, 16-year-old Derek Kraus shined in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West combination event.
Road Racing took center stage once again for the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) as Australian James Davison climbed into the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry and earned an eighth-place finish at Wisconsin’s Road America on Saturday. Fellow Camry driver Brandon Jones also netted a ninth-place result at the four-mile road course, which was won by Justin Allgaier.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) kicked-off their playoffs on Sunday, also with a road course event in Canada. The final lap was a show-stopper, which saw Brett Moffitt as the highest-finishing Toyota driver in third-place behind race-winner Justin Haley.
“Our race strategy we went for stage points,” said Moffitt. “We had a really fast Toyota Tundra today and these guys worked really hard on it. We had the speed where if we got to the front, we could pull away and go for a win. It just wasn’t our day, but overall a great points day.”
Championship contender Noah Gragson (ninth) paced a race-high 35 laps (of 65) after winning both of the event’s stages. His Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Todd Gilliland also led 11 laps, including leading the field on the final lap. Gragson and Gilliland were fighting for the lead on the final corner where they made contact and both dropped out of contention. Gilliland would finish the day in 11th.
Meanwhile, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West joined forces for the second combination event of the year, this time at Gateway Motorsports Park outside of St. Louis. Toyota driver Kraus led the final 37 laps (of 120) to earn the biggest victory of his career, which now includes four K&N Pro Series trophies.
“Our NAPA Toyota was really strong,” Kraus said. “It was a big win, with it being an East-West combo event and the first race at Gateway. That gives us bragging rights.”
Five Toyota drivers finished in the top-six positions with Kraus’ Bill McAnally Racing teammate Cole Rouse taking second – after leading 35 laps – followed by Ruben Garcia (fourth), Chase Cabre (fifth) and East points leader Tyler Ankrum in sixth.
Toyota driver Zane Smith finished runner-up in the ARCA Racing Series event a Michigan’s Berlin Raceway. Smith had been leading when eventual race winner Joe Graf made contact with Smith en route to the checkered flag.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to action for a Throwback weekend at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway on September 2 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. NASCAR Xfinity Series will take on the ‘Lady in Black’ at Darlington on September 1 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals — the final race before their Countdown to the Championship begins. Broadcasts are set for September 2 at 4 p.m. ET and September 3 at 11 a.m. ET on FS1.
ARCA will compete at DiQuoin (Illinois) State Fairgrounds September 3 at 3 p.m. ET on MAVTV.
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Midwest will conclude their season at the 49th annual off-road event at Crandon International Raceway.
Lisa Hughes Kennedy