Niece Motorsports has confirmed that Kaz Grala will fill in for Natalie Decker this weekend in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Talladega Superspeedway in a press release.
“My thoughts will be with Natalie this weekend as I wish her a quick recovery,” said Grala. “I know she loves the restrictor-plate races, so I feel bad that she’ll have to miss this one, but I hope I can give her something to cheer for on Saturday.
Grala being tabbed as Decker’s replacement was first noticed as Grala was listed for the No. 44 team in NASCAR’s Team Roster Portal and its latest entry list update.
Grala will pilot the No. 44 Chevrolet Silverado, with REMarkable Pillow sponsoring the effort.
Prior to last Friday Night’s World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Decker was not medically cleared to race by NASCAR’s on-location health and safety team in Las Vegas, relegating the No. 44 to a last-place finish.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) September 26, 2020
After the event concluded and Decker was released from the infield care center, the Wisconsin-native took to social media to address her followers, saying, “there will be more tests run so they can further evaluate and diagnose.”
I know you are all wondering what happened and what is going on.
We are boarding soon to get back home where there will be more tests run so they can further evaluate and diagnose. I will let you know as soon as that is complete. Thank you for all your prayers and support
— Natalie Decker (@NatalieRacing) September 26, 2020
The superspeedway event at Talladega Superspeedway was one of great potential for Decker, who scored her first career top-five finish at Daytona International Speedway in February, the first for a woman in the NASCAR Truck Series.
In Decker’s absence, Grala brings some valuable experience to the table, with a total of 64 NASCAR National Series starts entering this weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway, a career that includes starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series, including a victory in the 2017 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona.
Due to the driver change, Grala will be required to start at the rear of the field for Saturday’s 250-mile race.