The 12 Questions series of interviews continues this week with Kaz Grala, the Xfinity Series driver who is now with Fury Race Cars after starting the year with JGL Racing. Grala’s playoff hopes recently came to an end after he missed the Kentucky race due to a lack of sponsorship, but the team is hoping to find funding for the rest of the season and beyond.
“Our IT Coalition/15-40.org Mustang was really good today. I think we were a solid top-10 car, but just couldn't seem to catch a break. We got a little damage on pit lane that we had spend time repairing early in the race, and then we got trapped a lap down when the caution came out during a green-flag pit stop. We still battled back to the lead lap to grab a 14th-place finish, so it was a solid day for us. It's always fun to come back home to New Hampshire Motor Speedway with all my friends and family.”
“After missing Kentucky last weekend, I am more than ready to suit up at my home track. I've raced at Loudon multiple times in both K&N and Trucks, and I always invite plenty of friends, family and sponsors to come out and watch. The added support from the hometown fans makes this event extra special to me. I've had good success at the track in the past, and I feel like the track characteristics suit my style. It's one of the more technical tracks we go to, so it's all about patience and accuracy. I'm looking forward to having some fun up in New England and hopefully turning some more heads this weekend.”
Before going to Daytona International Speedway last week, Kaz Grala and Fury Race Cars made Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste a promise. They promised to return a decade-old car with minimal racing history to the team unscratched
Looking at the top five finishers in Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona, there was one car not like the others.
The recurring theme of maximizing performance against long odds made a special Daytona encore for Kaz Grala and Fury Race Cars.
Before this weekend, the car Kaz Grala drove to a fifth-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway was retired and destined for a much slower pace.
“This race was really wild at the end. We were running eighth during the second-to-last caution, but I actually got a flat right-rear tire coming to the green. I had to pit as the field took the green, but luckily, we got a caution shortly after that. You know it's going to be hectic on an overtime attempt in any plate race, and I knew I wasn’t gonna lift, so I just stayed in line and got as many positions as I could, ultimately racing up to fifth. Getting a top-five finish was really satisfying. This is our first top five with Fury Race Cars, but I feel like we’ve had speed all along since we became the No. 61 team, so this was a long time coming. Racing at a superspeedway, where it’s aero dependent and motor dependent, running with the top guys and getting a good finish is really exciting for us. I’m just really proud of everyone at Fury Race Cars and Ford Performance, and I owe a huge thanks to Kiklos and Marlow’s Tavern for jumping on board and allowing us to do this race. Right now, our future is unsure. We don’t have the Kentucky race sold yet, so I’m not sure if we’ll be out there next week, but good runs like this always help try to sell more races going forward. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue running this year.”
After knowing he was good for a four-race stretch beginning at Charlotte, Kaz Grala and Fury Race Cars are on a week-to-week basis when it comes to arriving at the track. Coming into Daytona, Grala and the team at Fury already have a game plan in place in order to maximize points for the Playoffs and to score the win.
It was another impressive showing on Friday night for Kaz Grala. Grala was in contention at the end of a hot Daytona night, which is all he needed. Gala’s right rear tire went down when the field was coming to the green flag for a late-race restart. A caution saved his race as he was trying to outrun the leaders to stay on the lead lap but for Grala, it was all about that final restart.
“Daytona has been very good to me in the past. The last time I raced there under the lights, we left Victory Lane covered in Gatorade. Even my Xfinity debut ended up being a top five earlier this year at Daytona. Plate races take communication, patience, strategy, and of course, a little luck. We had our dose of bad luck last weekend at Chicago, so we're hoping to put that behind us and turn things in the other direction this weekend. Thanks to Kiklos and Marlow's Tavern, who are both previous supporters of mine, we're going to be chasing that trophy and playoff berth at the World Center of Racing.”
Kaz Grala announced on Twitter he and Fury Race Cars have obtained sponsorship for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), giving him and the team a sixth race together.
“An electrical issue on lap one ended our day before it even got started. Our Fury guys work so hard, and this was a really tough weekend, but I am so thankful to IT Coalition and Kiklos for coming on board and allowing us to give it a shot. We are still working on sponsorship to continue racing, so hopefully we will be back to redeem ourselves soon.”
“I am so excited to continue our streak with Fury Race Cars this weekend. I can't thank Kiklos and IT Coalition enough for stepping up in a time when we needed it most to be able to make it to the racetrack. We debuted on a mile-and-a-half track about a month ago and picked up a top-10 finish, so I feel great about our program going into Chicagoland. We're getting very close to the driver Playoff bubble and to the top-30 in owner points, which would be huge milestones for our company. Not only are we hungry to make our sponsors proud this weekend, but another solid performance could move us one step closer to our championship aspirations.”
“This was a heck of a way to end our four-race stretch with Fury Race Cars. We missed the setup a little bit at the start, running 14th to 16th in the first two stages, but everyone worked so hard to dial in the car. We made some good adjustments to make our NETTTS Mustang pretty sporty at the end, had some good restarts and fought our way back to another top 10. I’m so proud of everyone at Fury Race Cars; You can’t be disappointed any day that you’re in the top 10, especially in the situation we’re in, so I’m pretty excited about that. I really hope I have some good news to announce soon in regard to more races this season.”
“Between K&N and Trucks, I have many laps around Iowa Speedway, just not in an Xfinity car. I feel like I've had some really good runs there and a lot speed in the past, so I'm looking forward to getting on track in our NETTTS Mustang. Our program has been getting better each and every week, so I'm very confident that we're going to unload another fast piece this weekend. The nice part about this weekend is there's no Cup guys in our race, so we get to duke it out amongst the Xfinity regulars. Hopefully we can back up our strong performance at Michigan with another solid showing this weekend. This is currently our last scheduled race with Fury 2018, so it's our opportunity to get our name out there and see if we can lock down some sponsorship to run more races this year.”
“What a day for Fury Race Cars. My NETTTS Mustang was really good all day, with a lot of speed and perfect handling. We came from the back twice and somehow managed to get stage points in both stages; I can't believe we did that. I got to lead some laps, and when the caution came out after we took the lead and the rain was on the horizon, I really thought that we had won the race. I wish the rain had come a little earlier or that I at least went into Turn 1 on that final lap with my rear wheels on the ground, but that so much fun. I like this aero package for this specific track a lot. I can’t thank everyone on the team enough for their passion and tireless work. This is how we need to perform to continue running this year."
As 19-year old Kaz Grala finished up media interviews on a rainy Michigan International Speedway pit road following Saturday’s LTi Printing 250, fellow racer Ross Chastain walked right up with a smile and congratulations.
Starting tail-end of Saturday’s LTi Printing 250, Kaz Grala had lots of work to do but only one direction to do it at Michigan International Speedway. And with a new restrictor plate package for the XFINITY Series, who knows where he could end up. The day ended 12th, a solid finish for Fury Race Cars, who ran just their third race in the series Saturday. Additionally, Grala earned stage points, led the race for five laps and put on a show near the front until the race was rain-shortened on lap 91