Kaz Grala Lands Brand-New Primary Partner for 2023 NASCAR Season

Kaz Grala

Getty Kaz Grala will have a new primary partner in 2023.

The No. 26 Toyota GR Supra will have a bright, new look for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Kaz Grala and Sam Hunt Racing have landed a brand-new primary partner.

Sam Hunt Racing announced the news on January 18 with a press release. The team revealed that Island Brands USA, a lifestyle company in the adult beverages space, will take over the No. 26 for 16 total races. These events will be split between Island’s Coastal Lager and CRUSH brands.

“There is a lot of symmetry between Sam Hunt Racing and Island Brands, which makes this announcement extra special for me,” said team owner Sam Hunt. “They have effectively established themselves way into a market normally dominated by household names, as a non-craft beer in the modern age.

“They have done things the right way and stuck to what they believe in throughout their growth process. That process is what SHR was built on. I’m proud to welcome Island Brands USA to our family and looking forward to seeing Kaz deliver competitive finishes in their colors.”

The Schedule Features an Important Superspeedway Race

Kaz Grala

GettyKaz Grala prepares for qualifying at Phoenix Raceway.

Island’s Coastal Lager will kick off this new partnership. The brand will take over Grala’s Toyota during the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, a track where he has two top-five finishes in previous Xfinity Series seasons and one win in the Craftsman Truck Series.

The Coastal Lager schedule will continue with Richmond Raceway (April 1), Martinsville Speedway (April 15), Dover Motor Speedway (April 29), Nashville Superspeedway (June 24), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 15), Watkins Glen International (August 19), Daytona (August 25), Charlotte Roval (October 7), Homestead-Miami Speedway (October 21), and Martinsville (October 28).

The CRUSH portion of the schedule will kick off with a mini-superspeedway. The brand will take over the No. 26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 18. It will then return at Talladega Superspeedway (April 22), Atlanta (July 8), Darlington Raceway (September 2), and Bristol Motor Speedway (September 15).

Both trips to Daytona stand out as opportunities for Grala to contend for top-10 and top-five finishes. The same can be said for Watkins Glen and the Roval considering that he has an eighth-place finish at the North Carolina track and a fifth-place finish up in New York.

Grala Returns to Full-Time Competition

A driver with 30 top-10 finishes and 11 top-fives across the three national series, Grala has not had many full-time opportunities in NASCAR. He drove for GMS Racing in 2017, but he has bounced between numerous teams every other year of his national series career.

Grala has used these limited opportunities to show that he can contend with the biggest names in the sport. After all, two of his seven career Cup Series starts resulted in top-10 finishes.

The 2023 season is now a major opportunity for Grala. He will compete full-time in the Xfinity Series for the first time in his career, and he will control a Toyota GR Supra that is capable of regularly contending for top-five finishes.

Grala will draw attention during the 2023 season, especially at superspeedways and road courses. The expectation is that he will be someone to watch at these tracks as he battles for crucial playoff points.

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