Kaz Grala returns to Greenville Pickens Speedway for the Kevin Whitaker 150, making his third NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start at the legendary South Carolina half-mile. The race will mark Grala’s second start for Ben Kennedy Racing in the No. 3 Kiklos Toyota Camry and he is looking to parlay the speed the team showed in the first round at New Smyrna Speedway into a victory at Greenville.
Last season, the 16-year old Boston native led 15 laps in the Kevin Whitaker 150 enroute to a top-10 finish. Grala plans to use his experience and make the third time the charm on the abrasive and treacherous track in Easley, SC.
“Tire conservation is the key to Greenville Pickens,” Grala elaborated. “Last year I was able to figure out the limits of the track and the car. This year, with a better understanding of the cars and the track, I’m hoping that will be what I need to play my cards just right and be there at the end.”
Crew chief Mike Fritts beamed over his new driver after the end of the Hart to Heart 150 in New Smryna, complimenting Grala on his never-give-up attitude and dedication to hard work. Fritts also spoke about what it will take to be on the winning end of strategy at Greenville Pickens Speedway this weekend.
“Having the right game plan at Greenville is important,” crew chief Mike Fritts said. “Being in the top-five at the halfway break is where you want to be. Tire management will be the focus after the second segment beings, but we still need to keep the leaders in sight to race hard at the end.”
It’s been nearly two months since the first race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season was held at New Smyrna Speedway. When asked how he kept his team motivated and looking forward to the next race Grala responded with his characteristic positive attitude.
“Despite the long time off between New Smyrna and Greenville, we’ve been busy since the drop of the checkered flag of the Hart to Heart 150 in preparation for this weekend’s event,” Grala said. “We’re motivated by the speed we had at New Smyrna and we are looking forward to coming out and showing everyone how strong we plan on being this season.”
Practice at Greenville Pickens Speedway begins at 1:30 p.m. with qualifying at 6 p.m. and the green flag for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at 8 p.m. For more information about the track or directions, you can visit www. greenvillepickens.com.
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– Ben Kennedy Racing Press Release