Kaz Grala looking to climb the NASCAR ladder
By Tyler Head
August 6, 2016
WATKINS GLEN – After stepping out of
the driver’s meeting for the Bully Hill Vineyards 100, Kaz Grala
stops to look at a monitor showing NASCAR xFinity Series qualifying
for the Zippo 200.
Watching. Learning. It’s why he’s there after all.
“I’m trying to learn,” the 17-year-old Westborough, Mass. native said while talking to The Racing Experts. “I’ve done road courses and stock cars before, but I’m trying to get more laps under me because I’m doing the Canadian truck race up at Mosport in a couple weeks.”
The young driver takes every opportunity he can get to gain valuable experience. Throughout 2016 he’s hopped back and forth from K&N Pro Series cars and Camping World Series trucks, trying to learn as much as he can as he climbs the rungs of the NASCAR ladder.
“I want to finish all the laps for that experience,” Grala said before Friday’s Bully Hill Vineyards 100. “But it’s a better experience to end up in Victory Lane, I look at it that way,” he added with a chuckle.
Grala’s day didn’t end in victory
lane, but he had a solid run nonetheless. When the checkered flag
flew Grala brought home his NETTTS Toyota to a solid 4th
place finish, after a tight battle with two other drivers.
After the race, Grala said the close-quarters racing, with high pressure put on him by the drivers around him, made for good practice.
“If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in the truck series, the guys are all good enough to win K&N races. They don’t make mistakes,” Grala said after hopping out of his No. 3 car. “So learning how not to make mistakes today is literally the biggest key for the truck series.”
Which is good, because Friday may very
well have been Grala’s last go-round in a K&N Series car. He
has five more Camping World Truck Series races on his docket in 2016,
and as of now plans for 2017 remain an unknown. Grala and company are
hoping funding materializes to make more truck racing possible.
If the money is there, Grala is confident races like the one at The Glen Friday have prepared him to continue climbing up the ladder.