Grala Wins Wreck-Filled Daytona Race


Photo Credit: Noel Lanier/

A night that featured NASCAR’s new format changes including stages and a five-minute damage clock also featured a wreckfest. While several trucks didn’t make it to the end of the race, Kaz Grala made it to victory lane for the first time after leading 14 laps.

Grala entered the race as the polesitter, and relatively inexperienced at big tracks after only turning 18 years old less than two months ago, but the rookie was able to avoid a last lap crash and go from eighth to victory lane.

“Honestly I got lucky coming out of (Turn) 2 there, I just didn’t lift and everything went crazy around me,” Grala said in victory lane. “I can’t believe we won Daytona. This completely changes the season in a way we can play it.”

Johnny Sauter, who dominated the night and won the first two of three stages, wasn’t quite as lucky as his GMS Racing teammate. Sauter received significant damage in the last lap crash when his former teammate Matt Crafton was sent flipping. Crafton landed on top of Sauter’s left rear, nearly hitting the driver’s side door. Sauter wound up finishing 15th.

Austin Wayne Self and Chase Briscoe each scored career-best finishes in second and third. Briscoe was making his series debut.

John Hunter Nemechek finished fourth after being involved in several incidents, while his father, Joe, finished fifth.

Regan Smith, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Christopher Bell, J.J. Yeley and Myatt Snider closed out the top-10.

Full results can be found below.

About Tyson Lautenschlager 552 Articles
A 22-year-old from Ontario, Canada, Tyson Lautenschlager is a Humber College journalism graduate. He is currently the managing editor of OnPitRoad and a chase producer at CTV News Channel in Toronto.