Spire Motorsports will field a second NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) 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.
As part of an ongoing technical 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, a native of Stratford, Wis., 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.
In 10 NCTS starts in 2023, Spire Motorsports has recorded one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
Kyle Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, snared the checkered flag at the Tyson 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway, while rising star Layne RIggs finished third in August at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Kraus is credited with adding a third top 10 to the team‘s 2023 stat sheet after his eighth-place showing in Milwaukee.
“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.”
The Lucas Oil 150 from Phoenix Raceway will be televised live on FS1 Friday, November 3 beginning at 10 p.m. EDT. The 23rd and final NCTS race of the 2023 season will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
— Spire Motorsports —