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Mar 25, 2014 - 02:05 PM
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Kaz Grala Leads At Greenville-Pickens On Way To Best Finish
Posted by: newsla on Mar 25, 2014 - 02:04 PM
Kaz Grala Leads At Greenville-Pickens On Way To Best Finish

Making just his fourth career start in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) competition, young Kaz Grala continued to mark himself as a talent to watch with another big performance this weekend.


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After posting his best qualifying result to date, Grala went on to lead 15 laps on his way to a career-best seventh place finish in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 with the No. 31 OzLINK Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. The result moved the youngest driver in the series up to seventh in the championship standings with four rounds of the sixteen-race championship now in the books.

Grala, who started his NKNPSE career with a pair of 10th place finishes in the opening two rounds at New Smyrna and Daytona International Speedway, qualified sixth at Greenville-Pickens Speedway for the 150-lap race. Greenville-Pickens boasts a rich history of NASCAR racing that stretches back to the 1950's. That long history, and well-worn pavement, was something that Grala was eager to take on as he made his debut on the track.

"It was my first time racing there, but I knew that the track didn't have much grip and that keeping your tires underneath you was going to be really important," said Grala, who is looking forward to finishing his freshman year of high school this spring. "That's the kind of track that suits my style."

Grala has made the move up to NKNPSE after proving himself at every level he has competed, with thousands of laps of short-track competition under his young racing belt. That short-track experience saw Grala make a promising start to the 150-lap race as he made a charge early on, but wasn't able to take the lead until a restart later in the race.

"On the restart, I went to the outside and there was a gap so I passed three or four cars--I somehow just made it work and it surprised even me how well that went!" said Grala. "I had been on the offensive from the start, but it hadn't worked out in the first part of the race. I just wanted to get out front and try not to use up the tires and car to get there. It is a lot easier to keep people behind than it is to pass them!"

Grala's time up front saw him eke out an advantage before being overtaken by a fellow Turner Scott Motorsports pilot, as the team went on to score a victory.

"It was a great day for Turner Scott," said Grala. "I just wanted to get out front and lead laps and get over that hurdle as a rookie," said Grala. "Now, I've got a little more confidence about being able to do that again. I think when we come back to race here later this year, we'll have a much better place to start from because we made a lot of notes about the car, and I'll also know the track this time."

There will be a few weeks break for the NKNPSE runners before returning to action as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Speedway on April 25. The Series will race immediately following the Nationwide event on the tricky .75-mile circuit that sets the grid for the Chase every year in the fall.

With some previous experience at the track, and a new boost of confidence, Grala is hoping to once again move to the point and lead again.

"It was a lot of fun to lead, I enjoyed the view!"

Up Next: Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway April 25th

For additional information about Kaz Grala:

LIKE: http://facebook.com/kazgralaracing
Follow: http://twitter.com/kazgrala

Kaz Grala Bio:

+ At 4 years old, Kaz got his first kart - a CRG Bambino with a 50cc Comer, which he raced at the F1-Outdoors road course in Massachusetts.

+ At 7 he started racing year-round at F1-Boston, a multi-track indoor road racing facility also in Massachusetts. He accumulated over 100 wins and 2 championships.

+ At 10 he started racing Bandolero cars in Charlotte NC. This was his introduction to oval racing. He won multiple championships (oval and road course) including the most prestigious Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

+ At 12 Kaz moved up to Legend Cars. In 2012 he won 15 of 58 races run all over the country on both ovals and road courses. Ended Legends by winning the Winter Heat Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the highest and age-unlimited Pro Division.

+ Kaz kicked off 2013 as the youngest NASCAR driver ever to compete at Daytona International Speedway. At 14 years and 51 days old he started his first ever race in a Late Model Stock Car at the inaugural Battle at the Beach. On June 22, 2013 Kaz won his first LMSC race at Hickory Motor Speedway - becoming the youngest winner in UARA series history.

+ Grala set a new record as youngest IMSA competitor at just over 15 years old, finishing fourth for the Championship-winning Rum Bum Racing squad on his debut at Daytona International Speedway (January, 2014).

+ Finished 10th in the first two NKNPSE races of his career (February, 2014).

+ Led first laps in NKNPSE competition at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (March, 2014).

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