Grala overcomes penalty to race way into Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The worry, fret, nail biting and nerves are over for Kaz Grala as he successfully raced his way into Sunday’s Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway.

After failing to post a fast-enough speed during qualifying to get in on speed, Grala and The Money Team Racing No. 50 Chevrolet knew the daunting task ahead them in the first Duel 150. Race his way in, or load up and head back to NC and watch the Daytona 500 on TV. And, having to answer team owner and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather of why the failure.

When the checkers waved over winner Brad Keselowski, Grala and The Money Team were in the money. And, they did it after overcoming a pit road penalty during a Lap 35 pit stop.

However, on the final lap what looked like a disaster turned into golden moment as Grala passed fellow go-or-go-homer JJ Yeley to make it in. Yeley and Grala were both two laps down on the white-flag lap.

“I totally screwed up there on pit road,” an excited Grala said afterwards. “We didn’t make it by much, we caught them in Turns 1 & 2 on the very last lap. This took a couple years off my life, but we’re going to be racing on Sunday.

“I’m really grateful and excited for The Money Team Racing, Floyd Mayweather’s car is going to be out there in their debut. I don’t know if he’s going to be here on Sunday, but word on the street he’s going to be. I got a great pep talk from him via Facetime on pit road, that was pretty cool.”

In regards to the swing of emotions from being in the race to out after the penalty and then passing Yeley on the final lap, Grala shared the feeling quite frankly.

“I went from puke to puke,” he said with a laugh. “Puking nervous from the penalty, to puking excited when I realized we made the race. I was worried when we raced by Yeley at the end because I didn’t know if he was going to try something. Block me, or shoot down in front of us because he didn’t have a spot being on the high side.

“About 12 laps from the end, I thought we might have had a chance to catch him. Then, with two to go I really started to think we could get there and I couldn’t believe it.

“I was still asking on the radio afterwards if we were in, was it really the last lap are we sure. I’m really thrilled right now.”

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