Race Weekend Central

Kaz Grala Attempting Daytona 500 for FRM

Kaz Grala will attempt to qualify the No. 36 in the season-opening Daytona 500 in the NASCAR Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports, FRM announced Jan. 23.

Ruedebusch Development and Construction, an FRM sponsor that also represents Todd Gilliland, will support the effort.

“I have to thank Bob (Jenkins, FRM owner) and Carl (Ruedebusch) for this opportunity to return to the Daytona 500,” Grala said in a team release. “Qualifying is so unique for the 500 and it is the toughest challenge, mentally, on a driver and team as you prepare a car, qualify, and then race the 150. But I know the car we have will be fast, the Ford engine from Roush Yates Engines will be the best out there, and I am ready. I feel this is one of my best chances at the Daytona 500 with everyone involved.”

The No. 36 is a non-charted entry, meaning Grala will need to be one of the four open cars to make the field before the eventual 500.

See also
27 Days 'Til Daytona: The 27th (1985) Daytona 500

He previously competed in the Daytona 500 in 2021 for Kaulig Racing, finishing 28th, and in 2022 for The Money Team Racing, finishing 26th.

Grala was previously announced for 25 appearances in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 15 throughout the season, starting with the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. His first non-exhibition start with the team is at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

RWR has not yet announced who will drive the No. 15 at Daytona International Speedway.

The No. 36 only has one start scheduled for now. FRM fields the Nos. 34 and 38 full time for Michael McDowell and Gilliland, respectively.

In 2023, Grala drove full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing, earning two top fives and nine top 10s.

The No. 36 competed in the 2023 Daytona 500 with Zane Smith, finishing 13th.

About the author


Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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Good for him and I have a feeling that the Daytona 500 qualifying will be dramatic on Valentine’s Day on Wednesday night and my suggestion is that I would rather see nascar go back to a 43 car field instead of a 40 car because I haven’t seen a field of 43 race cars in 9 years and I do hope that will happen for the great American race as well.

Last edited 4 months ago by Drew

I remember just a few years ago people were complaining there were too many spots on the grid. 🤔🤷🏼‍♂️🤣

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