Indy Elite: Kraus dominate in Kansas triumph

By: Tim Doyle
August 31, 2021

Round #14 of the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Kokomo Indy Elite Series was run as the series raced for 150 laps under the hot midwestern sun at the Kansas Speedway for the Kansas 225.

It was Wilson Neto in qualifying grabbing pole position with a lap of 25.055 seconds over Joe Branch (25.111) and Philip Kraus (25.125) in 3rd. David Adams and Chris Stofer rounded out the top 5.

At the drop of the green, patience was in short supply as 7th starting Matt Hollibaugh jumped to the outside of Stofer forcing a 4 wide heading into Turn 1. Unfortunately for Andreas Eik, he was forced into the outside wall setting off a chain reaction which saw a total of eight cars involved, five of which unable to continue.

On the restart, Alexander Ball and Tony Showen would come together entering Turn 1 with the pair also retiring from the race.

When the green flag came back out it was Hollibaugh placing himself at the front of the field and showing his strength, coming from 5th on the restart and taking the lead from Kraus until the race’s third caution would fly for contact between Ray Kingsbury and Adam Dock coming off of Turn 2 on Lap 35.

The field would take the opportunity to pit for fresh fuel and tires.

The green would appear for another nine laps before another yellow would fly when 3rd place Andrew Wood clipped Stofer’s left rear tire sending him to the apron of the track before careening back onto the track, narrowly missing Charles Anti as he had to make an evasive move to miss him.

The top four would remain out with everyone else pitting for fuel and tires.

On the Lap 50 restart, Hollibaugh would lead over Stofer, Neto, Zegers and Branch in 5th place. Hallibaugh would fend off the challenges of Stofer and Kraus before relinquishing the lead when he made his green flag stop on Lap 77.

Stofer would give up 2nd place when he pitted two laps later leaving Kraus out front just ahead of Neto. Kraus would make his final his stop on Lap 88 and then was able to stretch out his lead over Neto and Stofer. Stofer would pit from 3rd place on Lap 115 with Neto one lap later. Kraus again would stretch his stop out further to Lap 121.

Once pit stops cycled through Kraus would have a 2+ second lead over Stofer and Neto with Hollibaugh now five seconds back in 4th and Branch in 5th.

Kraus would be able to stretch his lead out to 6.7 seconds by the time the checkered flag flew. Stofer would outduel Neto for 2nd place. Hallibaugh and Branch rounded out the Top 5.

Kraus led 80 of 150 laps, earning two additional points as the driver with the most laps led (Tim Doyle/iRacing.com)

Up Next

The Coca Cola Bottling Company of Kokomo Indy Elite Series takes a week off before returning September 14th for its final road course of the season at Laguna Seca.

Laps- 150

Cautions- 4

Lead Changes- 6

Fastest lap- Ray Kingsbury (25.012)

Cars on the lead lap- 6

Polesitter- Wilson Neto (25.055)

Header Image By Tim Doyle

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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