Kaz Grala GMS Racing NCWTS Texas Recap
Unloading at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time in his NCWTS career, Kaz made quick work of his learning process using the three practice sessions Thursday to dial in his No. 33 Kiklos Chevrolet Silverado. Happy with the speed he showed early on, Kaz continued the trend through qualifying, grabbing the sixth starting position for Friday night’s Winstaronlinegaming.com 400.
Starting the race in the high line, Kaz learned a valuable lesson the hard way, loosing major track position because of the lack of grip up top. Dropping back to 18th, Kaz regrouped and methodically worked his way back inside the top-10 before the conclusion of stage one. Keeping the importance of track position in mind, crew chief Jerry Baxter made the call for a two-tire stop under the stage break, as well as a slight adjustment to tighten up the No. 33 Chevy Silverado.
Lining up seventh for the start of stage two, the Boston-native applied what he learned in the early laps of the race to maintain his track position on the restart. As the stage progressed, the handling of the Kiklos Chevy really came in, allowing Kaz to advance into the top-five and run some of the fastest laps among the trucks on track before the close of the stage.
Hitting pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of minor adjustments to loosen the No.33 back up, Kaz restarted eighth for the last leg of the race. As the laps wound down though, Kaz’s handling swung from loose to tight. Wanting to give him the best opportunity to make up some ground in the closing laps, Baxter called Kaz down pit road under caution on lap 155 for four tires and a wedge adjustment to help aid the Kiklos Chevrolet Silverado.
Restarting 11th with eight laps to go, Kaz was looking to make up ground when he got collected in an accident involving the No. 51. The GMS Racing team went to work trying to repair the left front damage that was sustained, and was able to keep Kaz on the lead lap to finish out the remaining two laps. Avoiding another late-race incident causing the race to end under yellow, Kaz was able to secure a 10th-place finish Friday night at Texas.
"We had a really fast Kiklos Chevy this weekend. My team unloaded unbelievably fast and it only got better from there. I think this was the best executed race that we’ve had so far this season. We ran in the top-10 almost all night, but we had a top-five truck. A little bad luck at the end kept us from that finish, but we’ll take the top-10 and move on.”
- Kaz’s 10th-place finish is his fourth top-10 finish of the 2017 NCWTS season.
- After the seventh race of the season, Kaz is currently eighth in the NCWTS point standings, but has one win and five bonus points towards the playoffs.
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