These teenagers certainly know how to race.
A pair of 16-year-olds who are members of Bill McAnally Racing finished 1-2 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Clint Newell Toyota 150 event on Saturday night at Douglas County Speedway.
Derek Kraus of Stratford, Wisconsin, took the lead early in the 153-lap race and never relinquished it en route to his second victory of the season. He won the season opener in Bakersfield, California.
Hailie Deegan of Temecula, California, a series rookie, finished 0.493 seconds behind in second for her best finish of the season.
Kody Vanderwal of LaSalle, Colorado, was third. Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga, California, who won in Roseburg in 2016, and Derek Thorn of Lakeport, California, rounded out the top five.
Andrew Koens of Roseburg, the lone local competitor in the 13-driver field, finished 11th.
The night belonged to Kraus, who finished third in Roseburg last year. He entered the race third in the season point standings and shined on the 3/8-mile track.
“It’s huge to get this victory ... a huge momentum booster,” said Kraus. “They brought me a great car, so that helps a lot. Yesterday we looked pretty good in practice right away. Then I qualified second (today), got the lead early and never looked back.
“I really had a fun time tonight and you have to be patient as a driver on this racetrack. It was a little tightness around the corner (with my car), but I felt the drive we had was really good.”
Kraus posed for several pictures afterwards with his team, sponsors and race fans.
“Being in Victory Lane never gets old,” he said.
Deegan worked her way up to second through 90 laps and held off Vanderwal and Partridge for the runner-up spot. Thorn, who had the top qualifying time (15.168 seconds), fell off the pace.
“I felt really good, I was happy with second,” said Deegan. “Derek (Kraus) was fast, he had a good, clean run. I was able to get down behind him and work around there.
“This (finish) is just like motivation. I’m confident in my racing and I’ve been working really hard lately. It has been great here. This track, I don’t know why, but I feel I was able to get a hang of it right off the bat. Five laps in I had a pretty quick time.”
When asked how she felt about finishing second behind a BMR teammate, Deegan replied with a smile, “I can live with it for now, but next time we’re going to go for it.”
McAnally was obviously pleased with the results. Cole Rouse of of Fort Rock, Arkansas, the other member of his team, finished sixth.
“Amazing. I’ll tell you what, these drivers put on a show,” said McAnally. “(Kraus and Deegan) are great kids. They’re coming up and both have bright futures. They’re sewing their oats, paying their dues. They’re being developed and are doing a great job.”
McAnally raved about the support they receive in Roseburg.
“To come to Roseburg, these fans ... this place was full of hungry NASCAR fans,” he said. “The way the community embraces this — just all the people locally — I can’t thank them enough.”
Koens, 19, competed in the race for the second time. He finished 14th in 2016.
“I think we had a really good car,” said Koens. “This was pretty much my first race in the K&N series. I ran in 2016, but kind of had some mishaps — I ended up running a backup car the last second. I think we finished on the lead lead lap (today), so I’m really happy about it, and we kept the car clean.”
Koens said he made a couple of “rookie” mistakes.
“Honestly, if I hadn’t made some driver errors we would’ve been right up there behind the lead pack,” he added. “But it’s all in hindsight. We finished how we finished and that’s what we got.”
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST
CLINT NEWELL TOYOTA 150
At Douglas County Speedway
1. Derek Kraus, Stratford, Wis., 153 laps; 2. Hailie Deegan, Temecula, Calif., 153; 3. Kody Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo., 153; 4. Ryan Partridge, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 153; 5. Derek Thorn, Lakeport, Calif., 153; 6. Cole Rouse, Forth Smith, Ark., 153; 7. Jeff Jefferson, Naches, Wash., 153; 8. Trevor Huddleston, Agoura Hills, Calif., 153; 9. Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., 153; 10. Ron Norman, Tucson, Ariz., 153; 11. Andrew Koens, Roseburg, 151; 12. Takuma Koga, Nagoya, Japan, 149; 13. Rudy Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo., 135.