TJ Harron Photography / TJHarron.com
by Kari Shear-Carlson / Sept 4, 2015 - It’s not everyday that a kid can say he won his first Super Late Model race, celebrated a birthday, scored a touchdown in his football game, and is preparing to make his first ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment debut all within one week.
But for one 14-year-old Derek Kraus, it’s all in a day’s work. Kraus plays 8th grade football, is a successful wrestler, and plays baseball, all for the Stratford (WI) School District. While he isn’t busy participating in school sports, you can find him behind the wheel at a local short track.
While Kraus is usually behind the wheel of a truck, he has been dabbling in Super Late Model races since February, and it has paid off. Last Sunday night, at the age of 13, Kraus became one of the youngest ever Super Late Model winners in the country when he took the checkered flag at Marshfield Motor Speedway in Marshfield, WI. Two days later, he celebrated his 14th birthday.
This Saturday night, the now 14 year-old, will take another monumental step in his career at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA for the Coors Light Summer Shootout presented by McGrath Powersports and Liz Girl Logistics. This will be Kraus’ first attempt with the ARCA Midwest Tour, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.
“I am very honored and excited to be given the chance to race against some of the guys I grew up watching. The competition is really strong. My goal is to learn the track and qualify with a respectful time,” said Kraus.
Derek will be going up against some tough competition. Both veterans and young guns from seven states are entered in the 100-lap event, but learning a new track will be nothing new for the Stratford native, and he may even get a little bit of inside advice. In the 2009 Midwest Tour event, his dad, Mark, finished second to Steve Carlson.
During most of the 2015 season, Kraus has raced in the American Ethanol Super Truck Series and the Midwest Truck Series. Between the two, he has five feature wins. One of those victories came at the Rockford Spring Classic where he became the youngest winner of a feature in the 68-year history of the event.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will be joined by the Mid-American Stock Car Series and Legends cars. Spectator gates open at 5:00pm. Qualifying will get started at 5:45pm. Opening ceremonies for the full night of racing will begin at 6:45pm with racing to follow at 7:00pm.
For more event details, log on to arcamidwesttour.com
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedway.