KRAUS GRABS OVERALL VICTORY AT SONOMA IN TRANS AM DEBUT
June 16, 2019
Teenager Derek Kraus wins from the TA2 pole, Simon Gregg claims his third 2019 TA win and there was hard racing up and down the order in the largest Trans Am West Coast Championship field of the year
Sonoma, CA (16 June, 2019) Currently leading both the East and West NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Derek Kraus, 17, has more racing experience than many drivers twice his age, and his experience paid huge dividends at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday in Round 4 of the Trans Am Presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship Series.
Making his series debut in a Shockwave Marine Suspension Seating Chevrolet Camaro handed over to him for qualifying by team owner David Smith, Kraus rewarded the team by qualifying on the TA2 Powered by AEM pole, then seizing the TA2 class lead on Lap 7 on the challenging Sonoma course. Kaus never relinquished the lead during the 38-lap race.
Due to technical issues with the transponders in several of the cars, Kraus’ laps in the lead never showed up on LiveTiming and Race-Monitor scoring apps, but there was no mistaking the Stratford, Wisconsin, high school student's confident victory.
Second overall (and second in TA2) was Kraus’ Shockwave teammate Chris Cook, who finished nearly 18 seconds behind, while Michael Mihld (MMR Camaro) held off Matthew Butson (Blood Enterprises Camaro) for third in class.
Simon Gregg (Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette) had a lonely race in TA after both the pole winner Michelle Nagai (Berkeley Jet Drive Corvette) and fast local driver Michael Fine (in a back-up Architectural Glass Systems Camaro) retired in the opening laps with mechanical problems (rear end and brakes respectively).
It was Floridian Gregg’s third West Coast series victory, virtually clinching the championship.
Further back, U.S. Touring Car Championship front runner Carl Rydquist (Prototype Development Group Factory Five GTM) won SGT and finished fourth overall despite starting from the back in his Trans Am debut, while Clark Nunes (Premier Homes Camaro) was the GT class winner.
Full report to follow.