Kaz Grala, who has spent much of his eight-season tenure in NASCAR’s National Series jumping between different organizations, has found a new home for the 2024 season, competing in the NASCAR Cup Series for Rick Ware Racing.
The Boston, Massachusetts native will serve as the anchor driver of the second full-time entry for Rick Ware Racing, contesting a 25-race schedule in the No. 15 Ford Mustang, starting with the pre-season exhibition event at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
“Kaz Grala is a talented and tenacious driver who brings a lot to our race team,” said Rick Ware, owner of Rick Ware Racing. “He has an incredible work ethic and leverages every opportunity to its full potential. He’s an asset inside and outside of the car who will help make our program better.”
Grala’s points-paying debut will come in the second event of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (February 25).
“Kaz is another crucial piece of our organization and for the same reasons we brought Justin Haley on board, we feel Kaz can also contribute immediately,” Ware said. “Kaz wants to make a difference and, above all, he wants to perform. That’s the kind of drive and determination all of us have at RWR.”
Between the years of 2020 and 2022, Grala was able to accumulate seven starts at NASCAR’s top level, picking up a pair of top-10 results — including a seventh-place result in his series debut at Daytona’s Road Course, while filling in for Austin Dillon.
“I’ve gotten the chance to race in the Cup Series a handful of times already, so I know how big of a jump it is from the Xfinity Series,” Grala said. “The depth of talent in Cup is steep. It really is the highest level of motorsport in the U.S., with both the quality of teams and the drivers. Last year, the Xfinity Series had a particularly deep field of fulltime competitors, so I feel like 2023 was the right year for me to gain experience ahead of this next step in my career.
Last year, Grala succeeded in putting together a full-time NASCAR campaign – his first since competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for GMS Racing in 2017. Driving the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra for Sam Hunt Racing, the 25-year-old driver secured nine top-10s.
“I’ve found myself as an underdog at each level of NASCAR, and I feel I thrive in that position,” said Grala, who began racing go karts as a 4-year-old in Massachusetts. “It’s important to get the most out of the car on restarts and in the closing laps of a race, all while taking care of the equipment, and those are my strengths. I also like to be hands-on with the team during the week, involved in what the next step is to advance our program.”
Joining the Rick Ware Racing stables, Grala will be working closely with Justin Haley — the full-time driver of the No. 51 Ford Mustang. The pair not only have a great relationship off-track but have worked together as teammates before at GMS Racing and Kaulig Racing.
“I’ve been really impressed by RWR’s vision and the plan they’ve laid out to get where they want to be,” Grala said. “This sport is all about people, and I’ve learned that having everyone pulling in the same direction is the key to success. Every single person at RWR is a racer, and they want to prove themselves in the Cup Series just as badly as I do, so it’s a perfect fit. I’m excited to see what we’re able to accomplish together. I think we’re going to surprise some people this year.”
Further details about Grala’s NASCAR Cup Series campaign for 2024, including sponsorship partners and an exact schedule of events, will be announced at a later date, as they become available.