Derek Kraus aims to lock himself in as the final playoff positions for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series are determined in the last race of the regular season at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on Thursday night.
The driver of the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Gates Hydraulics/NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Tundra heads into the event 11th in the championship standings – 10 points below the cutoff line to make a playoff spot.
Kraus trails 10th-ranked Todd Gilliland by 10 points and is 14 points behind ninth-ranked Tyler Ankrum. Kraus and Gilliland know each other well. They were teammates at Bill McAnally Racing, when they competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series – where Gilliland won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017 and Kraus won the title in 2019.
Kraus has momentum going to Richmond, following his truck series career-best, runner-up finish at Darlington, S.C., on Sunday.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about Richmond
Are you very calm in the current situation heading to Richmond?
“It’s definitely going to be nerve-wracking going into the last race being 10 points out. I feel like we just have to do everything in our power and if we end up winning or end up getting in, that’s just going to happen.”
How aggressive will you be at Richmond to try to get into the Playoffs?
“I’m definitely going to have to be aggressive just from being where we are in the points. It’s kind of going to have to be cautiously aggressive until the end if we have a chance to win. Definitely going to have to be smart and make the right choices if I need to move somebody out of the way. If I do, I need to make the right choice and do it good enough that I don’t damage my truck or damage the other person. It’s definitely going to be a fun race and I’m really looking forward to it.”