Wigley, Lee, Werner & Ramm Add Their Own Championships
WETASKIWIN, Alberta — Edmonton International Raceway’s 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series season saw five drivers add their names to the list of champions at the .250-mile Canada oval.
Alex Krause, who won the championship in the NASCAR Thunder Cars, started his involvement with racing at the tender age of just four-years-old, helping his father with hooking up the trailer and loading up the family race car.
He cheered from the stands while his father, Lee Krause, raced in the Claimer Car Class, Thunder Cars and Late Models. Once he reached 10-years-old, Alex helped out his sister — a Division I competitor in her own right — Taylor Krause. Taylor competed in the Mini-Cup from 2009-2011, and in his time working with her, Alex credits Taylor for teaching him the building blocks of being a smooth, clean racer on the track.
At 12, Alex started driving his own Evolution CupCar in 2012, until 2015, when he aged out of the division at 16 and made the move up the ranks. Between 2014 and 2015, Krause won three championships, two of them at Medicine Hat Speedway and one at Edmonton. He also won the Evolution CupCar Touring championship, building quite an impressive résumé at a young age.
During 2016 and 2017, Alex spent time working on various race cars that flew the Evolution Racing Products banner, among them was his sisters — Taylor Krause — along with the likes of Grant Edwards, Dale Edwards, Chad Malone, Chris Malone and Rylyn Malone.
He learned the rights and wrongs of building and setting up race cars, while also spending time mentoring young Evolution CupCar Drivers and helping with the race day management of the series, by volunteering as an official at the race track with timing and scoring.
A DEEPER LOOK: Edmonton’s NASCAR Whelen All American Series Divisions
It’s safe to say that entering the 2018 season, Alex had done just about everything their was to do in racing.
This year, back behind the wheel, Alex started racing a NASCAR Thunder Car at Edmonton — and it wasn’t long before he found winning success with the same car his father drove more than a decade before.
During the season, Alex won Rookie of the Year and the Division II NASCAR championship, matching his fathers 2005 season where Lee was also able to win both awards in the same class.
Being around Edmonton Int’l Raceway for as long as he has, the title meant a lot to Alex because he found himself racing many of the people he looked up to for most of his life in order to earn the crown.
With the goal of becoming a journeyman mechanic, Alex found his knack for tuning on race cars by spending the time wrenching on his own equipment, trying to find every inch of speed. In 2018, Kraus made nine starts in the Thunder Cars division, finishing inside the top five seven times and scoring five heat race victories.
He will be looking forward to returning to Edmonton to chase another championship next season, but in the off-season, Krause will spend his time on the field, playing Box Lacrosse.
Krause isn’t the only driver to etch his name into Edmonton’s championship history.
In the Division I NASCAR Super Stocks, Lee Werner beat Ron Elder Jr. by a mere 14 points to clinch the title. The Division III NASCAR Feature Stocks title chase saw Mike Ramm pull away over the final half of the season and ultimately defeat Andrew Crandall by over 100 points. Even though Crandall couldn’t capture the championship crown, he was declared the UNOH winner for the track.
Wade Lee earned the NASCAR Super Trucks title in Division IV, while Roy Wigley edged Karey Stular to win the Division V NASCAR Modifieds.