Spire Motorsports has entered select Truck races this year with various drivers, winning at North Wilkesboro with Kyle Larson.
Other 2023 drivers have included Corey LaJoie, Jonathan Davenport, Austin Hill, Layne Riggs, and Carson Kvapil.
All starts have come with the No. 7 Chevrolet, but for the first time, Spire will enter two trucks in the same race next weekend at Phoenix Raceway. Along with Andretti in the No. 7 machine, the team will also enter the No. 77 with Kraus behind the wheel.
With backing from Western States Flooring, Kraus will be back with Spire for the second time this year. He previously competed with the team at Milwaukee, finishing eighth.
Andrew Overstreet will serve as crew chief and Mike Hoffman will serve as the truck chief as part of the organization’s technical alliance with JR Motorsports.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Phoenix with Spire Motorsports and all the guys on that team,” said Kraus in a release from the team. “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.”
2023 has been a big year for Kraus, who has made seven starts in the Xfinity Series with Kaulig Racing and finished as high as eighth (twice).
He has 75 Truck Series starts since 2018, scoring four top-fives, 27 top-tens and four poles.
“We’re happy to have Derek back in a Spire Motorsports Chevy Silverado next weekend,” said Spire 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.”