Kaz Grala No. 33 Kiklos Chevrolet Silverado Iowa Recap
Making only his second NCWTS start at Iowa Speedway, Kaz and the No. 33 GMS Racing team went to work early Friday trying to dial-in the Kiklos Chevrolet Silverado during both morning practice sessions. However with qualifying occurring much later in the day, the track tightened up more than expected, hindering Kaz’s run and relinquishing him to a 16th-place starting position for the M&M’s 200.
Early on in the 200-lap event, the Boston native reported that he was struggling with an extremely loose Chevy that impeded him from getting the speed off the corners like he needed. Hanging on for the first 60-lap stage to finish 15th, Kaz came to pit road under the break for four tires, fuel and major adjustments to try tighten up the No. 33 Kiklos Chevy. However, before the field went back green, Baxter called the 18-year-old rookie back down pit road for one more adjustment, hoping to give him the security he needed in the corners.
Restarting 17th and having to work his way through lapped traffic during the ensuing laps, Kaz’s Chevy was still loose on entry, but now was fighting tight-off on the exit of the turns. The caution flag would come out on lap 109, allowing Kaz to come to pit road for four tires, fuel and another round of chassis adjustments to aid in his handling woes. With the No. 33 Kiklos Chevy handling the best it had been all night after the previous stop, Kaz began to make quick work of the competitors in front of him, trying to make up as much ground as he could. However, while racing three-wide with only a handful of laps left in the second stage, Kaz and two other trucks were involved in an accident on the backstretch. Unable to get his Chevy re-fired, Kaz was forced to end the race on lap 117, surrendering him to a 24th-place finish at Iowa.
"This is definitely not how I wanted our night to go. We had fought handling issues throughout the day, but I think Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) had finally gotten our Kiklos Chevy where it needed to be for us to make up track position. I was trying to get all I could on that restart before the end of stage two. We were three-wide in turns 1 and 2, but I didn’t realize that the No. 13 still had his nose in the middle when I came up the track while we were going down the backstretch. I just really hate it for all my GMS Racing guys. We’ll put this behind us though and move forward.”
- After the ninth race of the season, Kaz is currently 10th in the NCWTS point standings, but has one win and five bonus points towards the playoffs.
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