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Derek Kraus to Run Six NASCAR Cup Series Events for Kaulig Racing in 2024

The 22-year-old driver will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut for Kaulig Racing at Las Vegas, and he's set for five additional starts in 2024.


hero image for Derek Kraus to Run Six NASCAR Cup Series Events for Kaulig Racing in 2024

Derek Kraus has a massive opportunity ahead of him, as the driver has been announced to a six-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule for Kaulig Racing in 2024. Kraus, who has never made a NASCAR Cup Series start, will make his series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend in the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Western States Flooring will serve as the primary sponsor for Kraus in his series debut.

“I’m really excited to make my first Cup Series start with Kaulig Racing, the team that I also made my Xfinity Series debut with!” said Kraus in a Kaulig Racing press release. “I’m thankful to Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice for believing in me, as well as Western States Flooring, a partner that has supported me throughout my career. I can’t wait to get to work with Travis Mack’s group and see what we can do in Las Vegas.”

Kraus will return to the Kaulig entry at Phoenix Raceway on March 10, Kansas Speedway on May 5, Darlington Raceway on May 12, World Wide Technology Raceway on June 2, and Phoenix Raceway on November 10.

After running three full-time seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, Kraus was exiled in favor of Christian Eckes heading into the 2023 season. Kraus would run a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series a season ago.

In eight NASCAR Xfinity Series starts last year with Kaulig Racing, Kraus impressed mightily, as he recorded three top-10 finishes and had an average finish of 16.6.

Kraus had a best finish of 8th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series a season ago, a finish he pulled off at Martinsville Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Now, the 22-year-old racer will see what he can do behind the wheel of a NASCAR Cup Series car.

Last season, Kraus dipped his toe in the NASCAR Cup Series ranks as he practiced and qualified at Richmond in place of AJ Allmendinger, who was running the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America. The team is excited to get Kraus behind the wheel of the Cup car in some races.

“We’re excited to have Derek Kraus make his first Cup start with us at Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “Not only did he practice in the No. 16 last year for AJ Allmendinger, but Derek is our simulator driver that helps get our setups ready each week. We know what Derek is capable of, and we can’t wait to see what he can do starting in Las Vegas.”

Prior to moving to the NASCAR National Series ranks, Kraus was an ARCA Menards Series West champion. Kraus piled on five wins during his 2019 ARCA West championship season.

Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, Racing America

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