NASCAR Xfinity Series

Kaz Grala joins Alpha Prime as reserve driver, part-timer

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Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Alpha Prime Racing has added another driver to its roster for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, though this one will be in an increased capacity compared to other part-timers. On Monday, the team announced Kaz Grala will run four races for the team in addition to being the substitute in the event of the other scheduled drivers suddenly becoming unavailable. His slate will begin at Auto Club Speedway on 26 February, and he added in a follow-up tweet that he will also race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (5 March) and Phoenix Raceway (12 March) to complete the West Coast Swing, as well as his home track New Hampshire Motor Speedway on 16 July.

“Kaz is one of the best young drivers in NASCAR,” team co-owner Tommy Joe Martins stated. “When Caesar (Bacarella) and I talked about available free agents, Kaz was an easy choice. We’re extremely excited to have him on our roster for the first year of Alpha Prime Racing and we hope we can for years to come.”

Save for 2017 when he ran the full Camping World Truck Series season and an aborted 2018 Xfinity run, Grala has compared part-time across NASCAR’s three national series since 2016. In thirty-four career Xfinity starts, he has nine top tens, four top fives, and a best run of fourth twice. He finished eighteenth and fifteenth in two 2021 Xfinity starts for Jordan Anderson Racing at Road America and Texas.

Grala has also run four Cup Series races for Kaulig Racing with a pair of top tens. In the Truck Series, he made three starts for Young’s Motorsports in 2021 as a road course ringer, finishing runner-up at Circuit of the Americas.

“I’ve been friends with Tommy Joe for years now and have always thought of him as one of the best guys in the garage,” commented Grala. “Towards the end of last year, he and I talked about what they’re building at Alpha Prime Racing and what their long-term vision is for the team. I wanted to be involved any way I could, so I’m really thrilled and grateful to be a part of the program this year as they grow.

“We’ve circled some of my favorite tracks on the schedule, as well as my home race to work together this year, with the opportunity to even add races here or there. I feel like we’re going to turn some heads this year, and we’re definitely going to have fun doing it.”

His lone NASCAR starts at the West Coast circuits came in 2018, where he ran the first half of the season before sponsorship relegated him to a part-time schedule, with finishes of fourteenth twice (Las Vegas and Auto Club) and twelfth (Phoenix). Grala finished fourteenth twice in his two Xfinity starts at New Hampshire, though he is two-for-two in Truck Series top tens there with a seventh and tenth in 2016 and 2017. The latter year saw him win the season opener at Daytona and finish seventh in points.

Alpha Prime Racing, previously Martins Motorsports, will field the #44 and #45 full-time in 2022. In addition to Martins and Bacarella, other scheduled drivers include Rajah Carruth, Ryan Ellis, and Sage Karam.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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