June 27, 2016 (MADISON, ILLINOIS) — A blown tire in practice and a rain delay pushing the green flag for Saturday’s ARCA Midwest TourIllinois Lottery 50 to 12:03am (Sunday) couldn’t keep Derek Kraus from reaching another milestone in his racing career. The 14-year-old driver has now competed on a 1.25-mile track, earning a fifth place finish, which moved him up one spot to fourth in the ARCA Midwest Tour Championship standings.
Derek’s practice time prior to the race at Gateway Motorsports Park was limited to about 10 minutes, after his crew made repairs from a blown left front tire that took all the front body braces with it early in the session. Despite the lack of practice Derek qualified in the 5th position, breaking the previous track record for Super Late Model’s on the Madison, Illinois track, along with the rest of the top five qualifiers.
The race was originally scheduled to run prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Delayed by rain in the afternoon, it was rescheduled until afterwards, resulting in the just-after-midnight green flag. In the race, Derek ran as high as the second position, before taking the checkered flag for the 40-lap event in 5th place.
“Thank you to my No. 9 Seubert Calf Ranches ARCA crew for all their hard work this weekend!” Derek commented after the race. “It didn’t take long after getting on the track for the uneasiness of the speeds to go away, and I found my comfort level. After a long day in the heat, I was happy to bring home a fifth-place finish for my team and sponsors!”
This ties Derek’s best ARCA Midwest Tour finish to date, and is his third top ten finish through the first four races of the year.
Derek will be back behind the wheel this Thursday at State Park Speedway (Wausau, WI) for the Marathon County Tavern League 60. Derek went to victory lane in his most recent race at State Park, the Ropa’s Pizza Flip Merwin Memorial, less than two weeks ago. The next race on the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule is at Grundy County Speedway (Morris, IL) on Friday July 15th.
Credit: Richard Slifkin