Massachusetts Driver Working With Veteran Crew Chief at South Alabama
For the second time in 2016, Kaz Grala will team up with LFR Chassis this weekend for the 40th annual Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway. Grala, a native of Massachusetts, will make his way to the 4/10-mile Alabama oval with his eyes set on a strong run and a meeting with the Alabama rattlesnake in victory lane.
Grala made his first Super Late Model start of the year with LFR Chassis at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in February and ran strong for much of that race before being involved in a late incident. He believes that everyone, including the driver himself, learned a lot in their first time out together and hopes to build on that this weekend.
“Greenville-Pickens was a great first experience with LFR,” said Grala. “I think everyone worked together really well, and I think we ran well from the moment we unloaded. This weekend, with such a stacked field, we are all going to be put to the test. If everything goes as well as Greenville did, I think we will be in good shape.”
One of the biggest tools that Grala will have on his side will be crew chief Jeff Fultz, who won The Rattler in 2010. This will be the first time Grala has ever raced at South Alabama Speedway and to have someone like Fultz, who not only has years of experience but has seen success in this very event, will be a key for the 17-year-old driver.
“Probably the biggest learning tool for me is my crew chief, Jeff Fultz,” said Grala. “Jeff has more Super Late Model wins than anyone I know of, and he’s been to almost any track I can think of. He’s extremely helpful when it comes to learning a new track. Not only is he good on the setup side, but he’s every bit as good on the driving side as well.”
Of course winning the prestigious 250-lap event is not an easy task. With two different competition cautions scheduled, both of which will allow teams to make changes to their cars and put on fresh tires, it’s important to have a strategy. Grala has a plan in mind, but it’s difficult to know how it will all play out before the green flag drops.
“To win the Rattler I feel that we’ll have to unload with a fast race car, communicate well throughout practice to make gains on the car, and run a race strategy that puts us up front for the closing laps of the race,” said Grala. “While all that is easily said, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to actually do. Only one team this weekend is going to get it just right. We’re just going to work hard to try to make that be us.”
Practice and qualifying for the Rattler take place on Saturday, March 19 with the 250-lap event on Sunday, March 20. Fans unable to make it to South Alabama Speedway can watch the race via an online video stream on Speed51.com.
For more on Kaz Grala, please visit kazgrala.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @KazGrala and like “Kaz Grala Racing” on Facebook.
Sources: Brandon Paul, 51 Sports