Kaulig Racing has lengthy expressed an curiosity in racing full-time within the NASCAR Cup Sequence, and Kaz Grala will assist set these plans in movement. On Wednesday, the group introduced that Grala will drive the #16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE within the season-opening Daytona 500, with plans to additionally run different Cup races just like the superspeedways and highway programs.
Grala is the youngst driver in Daytona Worldwide Speedway historical past to win a NASCAR race on the observe when he triumphed within the 2017 Tenting World Truck Sequence season opener on the age of 18. Over the subsequent three years, he would get pleasure from success on the observe with a pair of top-five finishes throughout the 2018 Xfinity Sequence. Whereas has has not raced full-time in NASCAR because the 2017 Truck season, Grala has seen robust runs as a part-time Xfinity driver, with three prime tens and a fourth at Highway America in 2020 as a Richard Childress Racing driver.
In August, Grala made his Cup début on the Daytona highway course in RCR’s #3, filling in for Austin Dillon after he examined constructive for COVID-19. Regardless of an absence of observe and final turning laps across the infield observe in 2016 as a part of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, he scored a seventh-place end.
“This can be a enormous alternative for me each personally and professionally,” Grala said. “I’ve grown up dreaming of reaching the NASCAR Cup Sequence, so will probably be actually particular to get extra probabilities to race towards my heroes, with Kaulig Racing being the proper group to take that subsequent step with. I can’t thank (proprietor) Matt Kaulig and (president) Chris Rice sufficient for trusting me of their Cup program, in addition to RCR for serving to form my profession the previous couple seasons. I’ve already labored with most of the Kaulig group members earlier than, so hopefully that can assist us hit the bottom operating subsequent month.”
For the primary time in group historical past, Kaulig will subject three full-time automobiles within the Xfinity Sequence for 2021. Justin Haley, who débuted the Cup program within the 2020 Daytona 500 with a sixteenth-place end, returns to the #11 as he comes off a Championship Round appearance. He might be joined by newcomer Jeb Burton within the #10 and former collection part-timer A.J. Allmendinger within the #16. All three drivers have Cup expertise, with Allmendinger additionally profitable a race at Watkins Glen in 2014.
:”We’re tremendous excited to have Kaz be a part of our group in 2021, and we will’t wait to get began with him at Daytona,” Rice added. “He has had some nice success in several collection and layouts at Daytona, so we predict he might be an amazing addition to our group starting with the Daytona 500.”
Last Thursday, the group confirmed they’ll run the Cup superspeedway and highway course races in 2021 forward of probably going full time in 2022, the identical 12 months that the brand new Subsequent Gen automobile is ready to be rolled out. The 2021 Cup schedule options eleven such races, together with seven highway programs just like the Daytona highway course, although Grala’s particular schedule was not instantly revealed. Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass reported after the announcement that the group had additionally bought a store from RCR that was final utilized by the now-defunct Germain Racing.