Toby Christie: Kaz Grala Running Double-Duty at COTA; Driving TRICON Garage No. 1 Truck

Toby Christie: Kaz Grala Running Double-Duty at COTA; Driving TRICON Garage No. 1 Truck

Kaz Grala will be one of the busiest drivers in the garage on Saturday at Circuit of The Americas, as he plans to compete in both the NCTS XPEL 225 and NXS Pit Boss Grills 250 at the 3.41-mile road course.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Grala will return to TRICON Garage for the first of two road course events for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023, piloting the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. 

The 24-year-old driver will have sponsorship from Island Brands USA, the anchor partner of his NASCAR Xfinity Series effort with Sam Hunt Racing, as the company doubles down on its relationship with Grala.

Circuit of The Americas (COTA) will mark the second start of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season with the newly-rebranded TRICON Garage, the first of which resulted in a 17th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Over the last two seasons, Grala has scored three top-10 results on road courses for Young’s Motorsports, including an impressive runner-up result at Circuit of The Americas in 2021, the organization’s best non-superspeedway finish.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series last season, Grala partnered with Big Machine Racing at Watkins Glen International, picking up an impressive fifth-place result, only the third top-five finish in the organization’s history.

The most impressive result, though, was in Grala’s debut in the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona’s Road Course. In a last-minute fill-in role for Austin Dillon, who tested positive for COVID-19, Grala brought the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro home in seventh place.

Heading to a track where he’s had success in the past, Grala is looking to get his season turned around after some horrible luck has placed him 25th in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings with only a pair of top-25 finishes.

A good result in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series events could potentially propel the driver to some solid runs as the season moves forward, and maybe even a rebound to make the second-tier series’ post-season.