Driven to succeed: Oro Valley racer Kevin Krauss debuts in the Grand-Am Cup Series - The Explorer: Import

Driven to succeed: Oro Valley racer Kevin Krauss debuts in the Grand-Am Cup Series

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Posted: Thursday, September 7, 2006 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:52 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

September 6, 2006 - To say racing is in Kevin Krauss' blood would be an understatement.

"I've been going to races since before I was born," said the Oro Valley resident.

Raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Krauss became enamored with racing at an early age thanks in large part to his grandparents who took him to tracks such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"They took me to Indianapolis for the first time when I was 10-years-old just to watch qualifying and if the hook wasn't set before then that certainly did it," said Krauss.

These days, Krauss has the best seat in the house - behind the wheel. On Sept. 1, Krauss made his debut in the Grand-Am Cup in the Discount Tire Sunchaser 200 at Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele, Utah.

The 41-year-old Krauss - driving a BMW M3 for Fall-Line Motorsports - finished 25th out of 60 finishers with an average time of 80 mph.

The Grand-Am Cup is essentially a road-based, street stock car racing series. The circuit is a support series for Grand American Daytona Protoypes, the kind of cars that run the Rolex 24-Hours of Daytona Race.

Despite an intense love for racing, Krauss didn't get behind a wheel until he was in his early 20s. From there his career has been in fifth gear.

At age 22, Krauss enrolled at Canada's Spenard-David Racing School where he earned "Outstanding Driver" award and earned a scholarship from General Motors of Canada and Canadian Tire.

Since then, he's raced in many racing genres including 125cc shifter karts, open-wheel Formula Ford 1600s, winged Formula Ford 2000s, and Indy-style Formula Atlantics. According to his web site, he's even driven a front-wheel-drive sedan in a 24-hour endurance race. The races have taken him to tracks throughout North America.

Now the switch is being made to Prototype Cars - vehicles designed specifically for endurance racing. Krauss would also like to start his own Grand-Am Cup race team.

For all his success on the road, Krauss has become an equally successful instructor, teaching for the past six years at the Bondurant Racing School in Chandler. While there, making the daily commute from Chandler to Oro Valley, he formed Red Arrow Auto Sports, a racing development company.

His work with Red Arrow drew the attention of the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. This season, Autobahn hired Krauss to be its assistant track manager at the private motor sports country club.

It was Autobahn that asked him to drive in the Sept. 1 race in Utah. Although there is only one race left in this summer's Grand-Am Cup Series, Krauss is confident a quality showing will translate into future races for the club.

In the fall, Krauss will return to teaching at the Bondurant School. Back in Oro Valley, Krauss has three little girls - ages 3, 7 and 9 - who are quickly contracting their father's passion for racing.

"We've gotten some opportunities to potentially let them have a shot at driving things like a junior dragster to see if they like it and maybe want to go that route," said Krauss of his daughters, adding that the go-cart road circuit could also be an option.

The girls may not have choice. After all, racing is in their blood.

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