Toyota Racing – NXS Richmond Post-Race Report – 04.01.23

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
Richmond Raceway
Race 7 of 33 – 187.5 miles, 250 laps

1st, Chandler Smith*
3rd, Josh Berry*
5th, Cole Custer*
37th, JOE GRAF JR.
*non-Toyota driver


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.”

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 65 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 45 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 22 electrified options.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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