Using both of Thursday’s NCWTS practice sessions to dial-in the No. 33 Outlaw Fasteners Chevrolet Silverado, Kaz was still fighting some balance woes heading into qualifying Friday, but managed to grab a 16th starting position for the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway.
Walking across the driver intro stage before Friday’s race, Kaz received his high school diploma from Worcester Academy, then strapped in for 200 laps of racing. Settling into the top-15 during the first stage of the race, Kaz radioed to his team that he was fighting a loose-handling Silverado. When the caution came out on lap 37, crew chief Jerry Baxter elected to bring Kaz down pit road to tighten him up, as well as for four tires and fuel for the remaining five laps in stage one. Restarting fifth for stage two due to pit strategy, Kaz continued to fight loose conditions causing him to slip back to 10th by the completion of the second stage.
Hitting pit road under the stage break, Kaz got four fresh tires, fuel and another set of adjustments to tighten his No. 33 up. Restarting 14th for the final 110 laps, the Boston-native methodically worked his way back into the top-10 running order, happy with the way his Outlaw Fasteners Chevy was handling. As a long green flag run ensued, pit strategy began to take place among the leaders. Baxter elected to keep Kaz out for as long as possible, hoping for a caution to fall his way. On lap 172, just a couple laps before Kaz would be forced to pit, the caution flag waved for debris allowing Kaz to pit under caution for four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment.
Lining up fourth for the final restart of the race, Kaz quickly made his move to jump to second with only 25 laps remaining. Putting pressure on GMS Racing teammate Johnny Sauter for the lead as the laps began to wind down, Kaz came up just short of the win, but captured a second-place finish in the Bar Harbor 200.
"This was a big day for me, not only for my school life but for my racing life. We were close. The handling on my truck was pretty good at the end. These truck races are all about track position and clean air and we had both. Jerry (Baxter) called a great race that got me up front with clean air when it was important. He timed everything perfectly to give me a chance at the end, but we came up just short. Johnny Sauter is a veteran and a champion for a reason though. I could get to him, but he knew how to take my air away from me to keep me behind him. That’s experience.”
GMS Racing PR