MHR Drivers Battle Back At Darlington

• Howard Matches Career-Best Series Finish

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 6, 2022) – McAnally-Hilgemann Racing driver Colby Howard battled back to match his career-best series finish in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition at Darlington Raceway on Friday night.

The 20-year-old from Simpsonville, South Carolina made a late charge in the No. 91 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet Silverado RST and ended up 12th at his home track in the Dead On Tools 200, an event that is part of Darlington’s annual NASCAR Throwback Weekend.

Howard had lost spots earlier, after encountering loose wheels following pit stops. Knowing he had been sixth quickest during practice, he was confident he had a Chevy capable of making up ground. He charged from 21st, on a restart with less than 30 laps remaining, and was gaining spots coming to the checkered flag in an overtime finish.

Trouble for Howard’s MHR teammate, Derek Kraus, started just after the green flag waved, meanwhile. The nose and tail of his No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet Silverado RST suffered substantial damage on the first lap. Despite having to make multiple pit stops for repairs throughout the race, Kraus managed to net a solid finish – coming home 18th.

Howard’s performance comes on the heels of the career-best series finish he had in finishing 12th at the Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway last month. With his latest finish, he moved up four spots in the championship standings to 19th.

The Darlington throwback race is a popular event and MHR featured a couple of special paint schemes. Kraus came up with the idea for the design on his Chevy to commemorate the late model stock car driven by MHR co-owner Bill McAnally in 1990 – which marked the first year of McAnally’s long-term partnership with NAPA AUTO PARTS. Howard’s Silverado was a throwback to the 1965 Chevelle stock car that was raced by J.T. Gordon in the 1970s. Gordon’s son is Mike Gordon, Business Development Manager at Gates Corporation.

In advance of Friday’s race, Kraus and McAnally visited Walker Auto & Truck’s NAPA AUTO PARTS store in Rockingham, North Carolina and made calls on some customers. At the track, MHR welcomed a special group of NAPA AutoCare owners and employees from the Walker Group. They were treated to a VIP Experience – with a tour of the NAPA transporter, a meet-and-greet with the drivers and access to pit lane with the team. The evening’s activities included VIP NAPA Crewmembers

Quote – Colby Howard
“It was a frustrating night. We had a really fast Chevy, but kept getting loose wheels after pit stops – putting us way back each stop. I’m glad we could rally back and get another top 15, with a clean truck.”

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: Dead On Tools 200 (147 Laps) (Race 7 of 23) May 6, 2022
Location: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C. (1.366-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 45 / Lap 90 / Lap 147

Derek Kraus
No. 19 NAPA AutoCare Chevrolet Silverado RST
Age: 20
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Practice: 18th
Qualified: 14th
Stage 1: 23rd
Stage 2: 28th
Finished: 18th (Running, completed 149 of 149 laps)

Career series stats:
57 starts, 2 poles, 4 top fives, 20 top 10s
2022 series stats:
Races: 7 starts, 1 top 10
Laps completed: 914/920
Laps led: 1
Series standings: 14th

Colby Howard
No. 91 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet Silverado RST
Age: 20
Hometown: Simpsonville, S.C.
Practice: 6th
Qualified: 19th
Stage 1: 20th
Stage 2: 16th
Finished: 12th (Running, completed 149 of 149 laps)

Career series stats:
12 starts
2022 series stats:
Races: 7 starts
Laps completed: 807/920
Laps led: 9
Series standings: 19th

Next Race:
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race, May 14, 2022, Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. (1.5-mile oval)