Dylan Buell | Getty Images
Dylan Buell | Getty Images

Derek Kraus secures Camping World Trucks pole position in Knoxville qualifying heats

Derek Kraus raced his way to the pole position Saturday in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying heats at Knoxville Raceway.

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Kraus drove the Bill McAnally Racing No. 19 Chevrolet to the first starting spot for the Clean Harbors 150 main event later Saturday (9 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM), topping the formula of finishing result and positions gained in each of the four qualifying races. It marked the third Cometic Gasket Pole Award of his Camping World Trucks career, his second straight at Knoxville, and his first of the year.

Carson Hocevar — still on crutches from an ankle injury suffered in a crash two weeks earlier — gathered the second starting spot in the Niece Motorsports No. 42 Chevy, with defending series champ Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen and Buddy Kofoid finishing out the top five in order.

John Hunter Nemechek, Hocevar, Hailie Deegan and Todd Gilliland won the four 15-lap qualifying races that set the 36-truck field on the half-mile dirt track.

Nemechek led all 15 laps in the opening heat, while Kraus charged from eighth to a second-place finish to accumulate a stockpile of passing points — a chart-topping 15.

Hocevar drove from the fifth starting spot to lead the final seven laps of Heat 2, emerging from a fender-banging duel with Chandler Smith.

Deegan went wire-to-wire in the third heat, fending off dirt specialist Kofoid in second and Rhodes in third. Kofoid moved up three positions in his heat, and Rhodes gained three to bolster their starting spots for the 150-lap feature.

Gilliland, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the Cup Series, led wire-to-wire in the final heat as he makes his first Truck Series start of the season.