By: Ashley McCubbin
While there has been a lot of talk about drivers during this NASCAR silly season, often lost in the conversation is Kaz Grala. Although he has ran a couple part-time schedules the past couple seasons, he has yet to put together a full-time ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
There is a chance that could happen for 2021, but while that future remains unknown, it’s not his current focus. Instead, he wants to prove he belongs.
“I’m certainly focused right now on my Xfinity races this year at RCR because my best chance to get an opportunity for next year is to make the most of these opportunities,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “That’s really where my focus has been. I haven’t really been talked about in the NASCAR silly season discussions per say, but I don’t have a long term contract with RCR. It’s definitely a place that I’ve loved being the last couple of years, would love to continue to be for years to come. I’ve found success with them and feel I’m a great match with everybody in the competition department. I would love to stay with them and hope to be able to next year, but my options are not limited to RCR for next season.”
He has proven himself, scoring three top-10’s in four starts this season, including a fourth at Road America. He also filled in for Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Daytona International Speedway road course, picking up a seventh-place finish.
“It’s definitely given me a little bit more leverage and negotiating power with sponsors and teams alike,” he commented. “You kind of work your whole career up through the ranks, through ARCA, Trucks, Xfinity, showcasing what you can do so teams might be able to see what you can do on Sunday. So to be able to go out there on a Sunday and be able to perform there and say ‘I was able to do it with the big boys in the Cup Series,’ that’s definitely helped raise my stock and raise conversations with everybody. It’s already opened some doors and relationships within companies and the sport that could prove to be very valuable moving forward and hopefully sometime in the near future, everything will come together.”
Grala confirmed there has “absolutely” been conversations with RCR in relation to a possible full-time ride in 2021 and beyond, with those beginning from his very first race with the organization.
“That has been the goal – to run full-time for them,” he expressed. “That was the goal going into this year, and it ended up being a part-time schedule. So that’s the goal once again going into next year. It’s been a few years that I’ve been part-time in the Xfinity Series; I’ve only ever done one full-time National season, that was 2017 in the (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor) Truck Series.
“So to be in a car full-time is absolutely my goal for next year. I think it would help me tremendously on-track and since that Daytona race in the 3 car, I think my discussions with sponsors have been a little more plentiful, had a little bit more traction with them. So I’m really crossing my fingers that something will come together for me to be in a car full-time next year.”
Grala will get his next chance behind the wheel at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.