Enterprise

Catching up on the latest local racing news


Lou Modestino
 |  Special to the Enterprise

Boston’s Kaz Grala will attempt the 63rd annual Daytona 500 with Kaulig Racing to kick off the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season.

The team recently announced it would attempt a limited NCS schedule in 2021, which will include the Daytona 500 as well as select road course and super-speedway events. Grala, the youngest winner ever at Daytona International Speedway (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2017), is set to run several of those events for Kaulig Racing.

“This is a huge opportunity for me both personally and professionally,” said Grala. “I’ve grown up dreaming of reaching the NASCAR Cup Series, so it will be really special to get more chances to race against my heroes with Kaulig Racing being the perfect team to take that next step with. I can’t thank Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice enough for trusting me in their Cup program as well as RCR for helping shape my career the past couple seasons. I have already worked with many of the Kaulig team members before so hopefully that will help us hit the ground running next month. Bring on the DAYTONA 500!”

Grala, who made one NCS attempt in 2020 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, where he finished seventh, recorded the best finish during a NCS debut since 1998. Grala is only one of two drivers to record a top-10 finish in all three of NASCAR’s National Series in 2020.

Out of 32 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) starts from 2018-2020, Grala has recorded nine top-10 and four top-five finishes. He scored a top-five finish in his NXS debut at Daytona International Speedway and has finished in the top five in two out of his three super-speedway events in the series.

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“We’re super excited to have Kaz join our team in 2021 and we can’t wait to get started with him at Daytona,” said Chris Rice, President of Kaulig Racing. “He has had some great success in different series and layouts at Daytona so we think he will be a great addition to our team beginning with the Daytona 500.”

The 63rd annual Daytona 500 will take place on Feb. 14, where Grala will pilot the No. 16 Camaro ZL1 1LE for Kaulig Racing’s second-ever NCS race. Information on additional events and partners will come at a later date.

Seekonk Speedway announced a new Flag-to-Flag challenge that will debut in 2021 on Fast Fridays. As part of the challenge, drivers will have extra incentive on the line to complete their feature race from green to checkered without a caution flag. There are still a few details to be ironed out, but the basics of the new challenge are below.

Only those races that go without a caution will be part of the challenge. Thanks to the help of sponsors, including Newcomb’s Tree Service of Halifax and Bob’s Sunoco of New Bedford, the winner of a caution-free race will receive $100 towards their winnings. There will also be a random draw in Victory Lane conducted by the race winner with a $50 prize distributed to a finisher between second and last. For example, if No. 18 is pulled out, whoever finished 18th in that race will receive a $50 bonus.

In additional to weekly prizes provided by Newcomb’s Tree Service, Bob’s Sunoco will add an additional $100 ($50 for first and $50 for the random draw) for the extra-distance races during the 2021 season.

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“All of us at Seekonk Speedway hope the Newcomb’s Tree Service/Bob’s Sunoco Flag-To-Flag Challenge encourages the drivers to drive clean, hard races that put on a great show for our dedicated race fans,” Tim Bolduc, Fast Friday Race Director for Seekonk Speedway, said.

Information for this column came from press releases and personal notes.



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