Fresh off an impressive rookie season, Derek Kraus will drive the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Toyota Tundra again in 2021 – competing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, the team announced today.
The 19-year-old Wisconsin native will be in his second year with MHR. Prior to racing in the truck series, Kraus raced for three seasons with Bill McAnally Racing in the ARCA Menards Series West (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), where he won the 2019 championship.
“We’re pleased to announce that Derek will be with the MHR team again in 2021,” said Bill McAnally. “He turned in a strong performance last year as a rookie on a first-year team. He and the team are working hard to build on their success as we move ahead.
“This will be my fifth season with Derek,” McAnally said. “It’s been very rewarding to work with him as he has advanced in his racing career. We look forward to more great accomplishments ahead in 2021.”
Kraus finished 11th in the truck series championship standings as a rookie in 2020 – recording three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 23 starts, including a runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway and a fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. He has 28 career starts in the truck series overall, with three top-five and 15 top-10 finishes.
“I’m really looking forward to my second season with MHR,” Kraus said. “Now I can take everything I learned from last year and take it into the races this season. I’m looking forward to being able to work with my new crew chief Matt Noyce, also. I feel like he will bring some great ideas to our team that will make us faster. I’m ready to get going.”
Noyce joins MHR after serving as crew chief for Ben Rhodes in the truck series the past two years and with Jesse Little prior to that. He was the crew chief for several different drivers in a dozen races in the ARCA Menards Series East (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) between 2015-2018.
MHR will continue its alliance with Hattori Racing Enterprises that was formed at the start of last season. HRE is led by general manager, Mike Greci, and crew chief, Scott Zipadelli.
Bill McAnally partnered with Bill and Mona Hilgemann in forming McAnally-Hilgemann Racing at the beginning of 2020, to field an entry in the truck series on a full-time basis.
With that said, where does the Truck Series entry list sit now? The Ford camp has the most left to announce as everything else major is pretty well solidified.
Toyota (4 full time)
KBM will feature two new drivers with John Hunter Nemechek (No. 4 Toyota) and Chandler Smith (No. 18 Toyota). HRE will have Austin Hill in the No. 16 Toyota with Stewart Friesen in the No. 52 Toyota too.
Ford (6 full time)
The Ford camp will have Hailie Deegan in the No. 17 Ford for DGR-Crosley. This team has an opening in their No. 15 Ford right now which could go to Todd Gilliland if he doesn’t move up to the No. 38 Ford at Front Row Motorsports on the Cup level or Tanner Gray back in that ride yet again for a second season.
ThorSport has their four Truck camp open but all signs point to all four drivers returning.
Chevrolet (10 full time)
GMS will have defending series champion Sheldon Creed (No. 2 Chevrolet) to go with Zane Smith (No. 21 Chevrolet), Chase Purdy (No. 23 Chevrolet) and Tyler Ankrum (No. 26 Chevrolet). Raphael Lessard comes over via KBM to drive the No. 24 Chevrolet for as of now 12 races.
Niece Motorsports will have Ryan Truex (No. 40 Chevrolet), Carson Hocevar (No. 42 Chevrolet) and Brett Moffitt (No. 45 Chevrolet) as their drivers.
Spencer Boyd returns to Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 Chevrolet.
Austin Wayne Self will be in the No. 22 Chevrolet with Tim Veins in the No. 49 Chevy too.