TWO TOYOTA TOP-FIVES IN TOYOTACARE 250
Kaz Grala ties career-best finish
RICHMOND, Va. (April 1, 2023) – John Hunter Nemechek (second) and Kaz Grala (fourth) earned top-five finishes in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway. Nemechek will run for $100,000 as part of the Dash 4 Cash program in Martinsville. For Grala, fourth ties his career-best finish (Daytona 2018, Road America 2020). The finish is the second-best in Sam Hunt Racing history and the team’s second top-five at Richmond Raceway.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Race 7 of 33 – 187.5 miles, 250 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Chandler Smith*
2nd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
3rd, Josh Berry*
4th, KAZ GRALA
5th, Cole Custer*
19th, SAMMY SMITH
27th, JOEY GASE
28th, CONNOR MOSACK
31st, MASON MAGGIO
37th, JOE GRAF JR.
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 20 Safeway/ACME Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Can you talk about the finish?
“Yeah, we weren’t very good on the short run. We had a long run speed car. We came from the back to battle up here. I’m just proud of everyone on this No. 20 Toyota GR Supra team for Joe Gibbs Racing. The Safeway colors looked great on our car. We came from the back as fast as Xfinity 10 G internet. Disappointed to run runner-up again. That is the last three races here I’ve ran second or third, frustrating. We will go back to work. We just have to figure out to execute better. The 16 (Chandler Smith) had the best car on the short run – it was going to be hard to hold him off, even early on, he would fire off and then drop back. Just one of those days. It was a good points day for us. I think we moved up a couple spots. Disappointed, but we will take it and move on to the next one.”
KAZ GRALA, No. 26 Toyota Racing Development Toyota GR Supra, Sam Hunt Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
Can you talk about your race?
“It was our best race of the year – but not for a lack of effort. We’ve been bringing really, really fast Toyota GR Supras. Today was no exception. Everything fell our way – we had a solid day, through and through. We were a top-10 car easily on the short run, but we might have just been the best car out here in the long run. When the caution came out late, I was almost disappointed – but it turned out okay. We will take a fourth-place. I’m really, really proud of everyone at Sam Hunt Racing, Toyota, our partners, Reudebusch, Island Coastal Lager, Fire Department Coffee. We can’t do it without those guys.”
Does it feel extra special to get a top-five here with Sam Hunt Racing – their home track?
“Absolutely. Sam (Hunt, team owner) has a lot of friends, family and guests here this weekend, so this being his home race – this was a huge one. It is always a little bit sweeter to run well in your home race. We did just that. I liked today, because there was no crazy pit strategy, no cycling, no attrition – we were just straight up pretty good today. We were good on the short run, and really, really good on the long run. Very proud of everyone at Sam Hunt Racing, Toyota, our partners, Reudebusch, Island Coastal Lager, Fire Department Coffee. We can’t do it without those guys. This was a fun Saturday. We’ve got more of these.”
SAM HUNT, team owner, Sam Hunt Racing
Finishing Position: 4th
What does this mean?
“It means a lot. Especially, because it has been a tough year so far, we’ve had fast cars and things just haven’t fallen our way. We were good all day long. We were really hoping it went green, because I think we had a car to beat in the long run, but for this team, this group, to run with these guys and beat the cars we beat, it is special. It is really cool. I’m just grateful for all of the people that have believed in us, believed in me. I feel like I really don’t deserve this stage, this situation, this finish. I have just been so lucky to have great people help me and help this program.”
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