KNOXVILLE, IOWA - JUNE 18: Derek Kraus, driver of the #19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Clean Harbors 150 at Knoxville Raceway on June 18, 2022 in Knoxville, Iowa. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Derek Kraus (NASCAR photo)

Second Spire Truck For Derek Kraus At Phoenix

CONCORD, N.C. — Spire Motorsports will field a second NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series entry in next weekend’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway for Wisconsin native Derek Kraus.

Kraus will pilot the No. 77 Western States Flooring Chevrolet Silverado alongside teammate Marco Andretti, who will drive the No. 7 Parity Week by Gainbridge Chevy in the division’s final race of the season.

nical support relationship with JR Motorsports, Andrew Overstreet and Mike Hoffman will serve as crew chief and truck chief, respectively.

Kraus was nothing short of impressive while handling the driving chores for Spire Motorsports earlier this season at the Clean Harbors 175 at the famed Milwaukee Mile, where he started deep in the field and raced his way to a spirited eighth-place finish. He is a veteran of 75 NCTS starts with four poles, four top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.

“I’m really looking forward to racing at Phoenix with Spire Motorsports and all the guys on that team,” said Kraus. “Phoenix Raceway is one of my favorite races on the schedule, just because of how competitive the track is. I’m thankful to have Western States Flooring on board and looking forward to putting on a good show for that group. We had a good day at Milwaukee earlier this season so hopefully we can pull some notes from that weekend and put them to good use in Phoenix.”

In five previous NCTS starts at the uniquely configured one-mile Avondale, Ariz., oval, the 22-year-old standout has recorded three eighth-place finishes and, coincidently enough, finished 23rd in the other two.

Kraus has made seven NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Kaulig Racing in 2023, recording three top-10 finishes. Of those seven starts, he has only finished outside the top 12 twice, and outside the top 20, once.

Most recently, Kraus raced Kaulig’s No. 11 Celsius Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 

“We’re happy to have Derek back in a Spire Motorsports Chevy Silverado next weekend,” said team manager Mike Greci. “He did a nice job when he drove for us at the Milwaukee Mile and we think a lot of that success should translate to Phoenix. He’s incredibly mature for his age and has a knack for getting the most out of his equipment. When the opportunity came about to put him in a second truck for Phoenix, it was kind of all-hands-on-deck to figure out a way to make it happen. He’ll be a great compliment to Marco Andretti and vice versa, so we’re optimistic about the chances for both our trucks.”