NASCAR Cup Series driver joining new team for Atlanta race

Kaz Grala is set to make his first official NASCAR Cup Series start with Rick Ware Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Sunday afternoon.

Kaz Grala, Front Row Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Kaz Grala, Front Row Motorsports, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Kaz Grala was one of six drivers going for the final four open spots in the 40-car field for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway last week. He piloted the No. 36 Ford, a non-charter entry, for Front Row Motorsports.

After he was unable to lock into the 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval on speed, he raced his way in via his Bluegreen Vacations Duel race. He was unfortunately involved in an early incident in the Daytona 500 and ended up being unable to finish.

Now Grala is set to compete for a different team in this Sunday afternoon's Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kaz Grala joins Rick Ware Racing

Grala is set to be back behind the wheel of the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford for this 260-lap race around the four-turn, 1.54-mile (2.478-kilometer) Hampton, Georgia oval. While he has driven this car for Rick Ware Racing before, he has never done so in an official Cup Series points race.

In fact, the 25-year-old Boston, Massachusetts native hasn't actually competed in any Cup Series race for Rick Ware Racing before.

Grala signed a 25-race deal with Rick Ware Racing ahead of the 2024 season, and the first of those races was the preseason Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. However, he failed to qualify for that race.

He is guaranteed a starting spot in this weekend's race.

Riley Herbst, who will not compete in the Ambetter Health 400, drove Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford in the Daytona 500 and finished in 24th place. The car's only other confirmed driver for the 2024 season is Cody Ware, though the locations of his starts have not yet been confirmed.

Not all of the locations for Grala's starts have been confirmed either, though it has been announced that he is set to return for the next five races after the Ambetter Health 400. That stretch includes races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, and Richmond Raceway.

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The Ambetter Health 400 is set to be broadcast live from Atlanta Motor Speedway on Fox this Sunday, February 25 beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV now if you have not already done so!