Kaz Grala No. 33 STEALTH Chevrolet Silverado Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Recap
Arriving in Canada for the only road course race of the NCWTS season, Kaz put his road course racing background to good use, finishing first practice eighth-fastest and final practice third before ultimately qualifying third for Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250.
At the start of the 64-lap race, Kaz immediately moved into the second position and ran within striking distance of the leader throughout the entire first stage of the race, collecting stage points on lap 20. Despite fighting a STEALTH Chevrolet Silverado that was a tick loose through the left-handers and a tick tight through the right-handers, crew chief Jerry Baxter stuck to his planned pit strategy leaving Kaz on track under the stage break, lining him up second for the restart. Sliding to fifth on the restart, Kaz made it back to fourth before coming to pit road for his scheduled stop, under green, on lap 31. Coming to the attention of his No. 33 team for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment, Kaz returned to the track to make up ground before the end of stage two. At the stage break, Kaz was scored 11th, but would not pit again. With pit strategy continuing to play out throughout the field, Kaz restarted fourth for the start on the final stage.
Snagging the lead coming out of Turn 1 on the restart, Kaz maintained the top spot for 19 laps, surviving two restarts in the process. Taking the white flag with the No. 19 closing from behind with fresher tires, Kaz continued to run his line and hit his marks to maintain the lead. Heading into Turn 5, the No. 19 ran into the rear end of the No. 33 STEALTH Chevrolet, spinning him around. Kaz was able to continue in his Silverado and cross the finish line with a third-place finish.
"I’m super proud of my No. 33 STEALTH guys today. Execution is what we need for the playoffs and we did that better than anyone today. There was just no need for what happened to have happened. I had a lot of respect for Austin (Cindric). I think he is a great road racer, but I lost some of that respect today. There’s a time and a place to move someone. You have to pick the right spot to make a move if you’re going to race someone clean. That wasn’t done today though. If it had been me in that position, I would have moved him but I would not have taken him out like that.”
“From my point of view, we were going for stage wins and race wins for the playoff points like anyone else because it doesn’t mean much to be in the playoffs if you’re the first one out. You really have to come to compete there. Those 5 points would have been extremely valuable for our season going forward.”
- After the 15th race of the season, Kaz is currently 12th in the NCWTS point standings, but has one win and five bonus points towards the playoffs.
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