South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
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SoVaNow.com / July 07, 2014Kaz Grala, the second place finisher in Thursday’s feature late model race at South Boston Speedway, is a relative newcomer to this level of racing and to the famed short track.
Grala, from Boston, Mass., has only been in late models for a year and also is competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. His background includes banderleros, go-karts and legends.
Grala enjoys the competition in the K&N series and he’s seen improvement in late models as well.
“This year in late models, I’ve been running a lot better than last year. Just trying to get some experience going here,” said Grala.
Grala was stressed out by the final GWC in the late model feature.
“We had a really great long run car. Our car was actually a little weird.
“We were really good on the very short run, like two laps. From like two laps to seven laps, we slowed down a bit. Then we started speeding up again.
“I had a feeling that the green-white-checked would be beneficial for us. I was hoping I could hang on, be along for the ride. I was expecting the 5 (eventual winner Lee Pulliam) and the 99 (Peyton Sellers) would race really hard. That allowed me to take advantage of the 99 going down the backstretch,” said Grala.
Grala was almost breathless afterwards, as the 15-year-old driver was thrilled just to race to a second place finish against a high-profile field.
“Being able to run with these national champions, Camping World Truck Series driver (Tim Peters), it’s ridiculous for me to be battling side-by-side,” said Grala.
Grala had something break in the right front in the first half of the race, but the team fixed the issue during the halfway break.
In the final 25-lap stretch before the final GWC, Grala said he had perhaps less wear on tires than the other top competitors. At the end, he drove very hard and came home second.
PETERS FIFTH - NASCAR Camping World truck series championship contender Tim Peters brought his race machine home with a solid fifth place finish.
Peters will return to Iowa Friday night for the truck series.
“This was a brand new car. We haven’t had a chance to come over here and really shake it down.
“We didn’t even come over here and test. I felt like what we accomplished tonight was pretty decent,” he said.
Peters made some spring rubber adjustments on the right front.
“It made the car a little too tight on the bottom, but could really use the car on the outside when we needed to go,” said Peters.
“We were the type of car that we needed to get it all on the short run. I was surprised Deac (McCaskill) took the bottom, because he always runs really well high. I felt like when he took the bottom he gave me a shot with the way my car was on the shorter run to get him, and that’s the way it prevailed,” he said.
Peters is ready to go to Iowa in the Truck Series, calling the SBS race here a warm-up for that short track race.
Peters has won at Iowa two years in a row. He’s also looking for consistency in the NASCAR Truck Series title hunt. Peters is just 11 points out of first place.
83 TEAM DISAPPOINTED - H.C. Sellers and Matt Bowling were disappointed with the performance of the no. 83 car. Bowling finished ninth.
“We just ran miserable tonight and way below everybody’s expectations,” said Sellers.
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