The white, steel-bodied Ford Mustang that finished fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway over the summer was never supposed to do well. It was never supposed to race, even.
“I had a good run going today; we made strides on our handling all day and our DMB Financial team got the car dialed in just in time for Stage 3. I drove up to ninth by 14 to go, but I couldn’t catch a break from there and ended up getting taken out with just a few laps to go. This wasn’t the day we were hoping for, but I’m confident we can bring what we learned today with us to Road America for redemption.”
Second generation road-course racer Kaz Grala feels his Fury Race Cars team is prepared this weekend for new opportunity for success at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“I've actually never been to Mid-Ohio before in any series. Everyone I've talked to has said it's an incredibly technical road course, which will make it very difficult to learn. I have been practicing on iRacing and watching a lot of video, but my first real laps around the place will be when practice starts this weekend. I'm hoping I'll be able to catch on quickly and be in contention by Stage 3. The track seems like it will play to my strengths, so I'm excited to get out there and see if that holds true.”
“That race had a little bit of everything in it. I was excited to see the rain, but it was short-lived, unfortunately. The driving part was fun, but the vision part was a little bit more challenging. If they can figure out a way to get us to see out of these cars in the rain, it would be a blast. As far as our No. 61 DMB Financial Mustang, we definitely have some work to do before next weekend’s race. I think we would have been much better off if we had dry practice yesterday. Other teams have notes to go off of from last year and other drivers have previous experience here, but we kind of guessed at it. I think we just need a little bit more grip and a little bit more speed. We were weren’t real loose or real tight, just a little bit on top of the track. We missed it a bit, but we will go back to the drawing board and get ‘em at Mid-Ohio.”
Kaz Grala got a second chance to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and he and his new team are making the most of the new opportunity.Second generation road-course racer Kaz Grala feels his Fury Race Cars team is prepared this weekend for new opportunity for success at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“Finally, a road course! I've been turning right and left since I was four years old, and have probably done more road races than I have oval races in my lifetime. I'm super excited to have DMB Financial on board this weekend, supporting me at one of my favorite tracks out there. They’re a new partner and new to the sport, so I hope that we give them a warm welcome, both on the track and with the support of our fans. I've won sports car races at Watkins Glen before and I've had success there in the K&N Series. This is a weekend I've been waiting for all year, especially because the field is stacked with Cup drivers. I see it as an opportunity to learn from them and get comfortable in the car before the Xfinity standalones later this month.”
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.