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Rick Ware Racing: Justin Haley/Kaz Grala New Hampshire Race Advance

New Hampshire Advance

Event Overview

● Event: USA Today 301 (Round 18 of 36)
● Time/Date: 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 23
● Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon
● Layout: 1.058-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 301 laps / 318.46 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 70 laps / Stage 2: 115 laps / Final Stage: 116 laps
● TV/Radio: USA / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Justin Haley, Driver of the No. 51 Fraternal Order of Eagles Ford Mustang Dark Horse

● Justin Haley and the No. 51 Fraternal Order of Eagles Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Rick Ware Racing (RWR) head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for Sunday’s USA Today 301.

● Haley has six previous starts at New Hampshire acorss NASCAR’s Cup Series (three), Xfinity Series (two) and the Craftsman Truck Series (one). His best Cup Series finish was his most recent – a 17th-place finish in last year’s Crayon 301. Haley owns a top-10 finish in the 2021 Xfinity Series event and finished 13th in his lone Truck Series start at the track dubbed “The Magic Mile.”

● In two ARCA Menards Series East (previously K&N Series East) events at New Hampshire, Haley finished eighth (2015) and third (2016). The third-place result in 2016 was one of 13 top-five finishes Haley earned during the 14-race season when he claimed the series championship.

● Haley earned his third points-paying top-15 finish of the season, a 13th-place effort in last Sunday’s inaugural Cup Series event at Iowa Speedway in Newton. He finished 10th in the second stage to pick up his first stage points of the year and gained two spots in the driver standings to now sit 30th with 234 points.

● With 18 races complete, Haley is ranked seventh among drivers in laps completed (4,766) and eighth in miles completed (5,885.25).

Kaz Grala, Driver of the No. 15 Meat N’ Bone Ford Mustang Dark Horse

● Kaz Grala, driver of No. 15 Meat N’ Bone Ford Mustang Dark Horse, will make his first Cup Series start at his home track Sunday. The native of Westborough, Massachusetts owns three previous starts at New Hampshire in the Xfinity Series, two in the Truck Series, both resulting in top-10 finishes, and three in the ARCA Menards Series East, where he owns a best finish of third earned in 2015.

● At 4 years old, Grala began his racing efforts in go-karts at F1 Boston. He won multiple championships before moving to Bandoleros at the age of 10 and won the Outlaws Summer Shootout championship in 2011. Grala followed that up with 15 wins and the Winter Heat Championship at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the Legend Car Pro Division in 2012.

In 2013, 14-year-old Grala moved on to stock car racing in the UARA-STARS Series, becoming the youngest winner in series history at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The Boston-area native completed a full 16-race schedule in the ARCA Menards Series East in 2014, earning four top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. That same year, he ran in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challengeat just 15 years old, becoming the youngest driver ever to compete in an IMSA event, and he competed in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, collecting wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, N.C., and set a record for youngest winner in track history at the latter.

Grala returned to the ARCA Menards Series East in June 2015 and collected four top-fives and nine top-10s in 14 races.  He also competed in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Super Late Model at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, winning the pole and leading 131 of 150 laps en route to the win. Seven months later, he made his debut in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, where he was the youngest driver in the field.

● Grala made his NASCAR national series debut in the Truck Series in 2016, earning three top-10s during a nine-race schedule. In 50 total Truck Series starts, Grala has one win, six top-fives and 19 top-10s. He made his Xfinity Series debut in 2018, competing in 22 of 33 events. Grala completed his first fulltime season in the Xfinity Series in 2023 before moving to the Cup Series with RWR for the 2024 season.

● Meat N’ Bone joins Grala for its first race as primary partner on the No. 15 RWR Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Meat N’ Bone is an online butcher shop offering premium quality meats delivered locally and shipped nationally. Customers can order from over 300 products, including USDA Prime and Wagyu A5, and have it delivered fresh to their door. Meat N’ Bone also offers local pickup and a personalized retail experience in its boutiques.

Rick Ware Racing Notes

● Progressive American Flat Track (AFT) heads to the Bridgeport Half-Mile at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway this weekend for its eighth event of the year. In last weekend’s event in Middletown, New York, Mission SuperTwins rider Briar Bauman earned his second podium of the year, a second-place effort that solidified his fourth-place standing in points. AFT Singles reigning champion Kody Kopp picked up his fourth win of the year, a victory that now has him tied with teammate Shayna Texter-Bauman as the winningest rider in AFT Singles history. Kopp currently holds a 26-point lead in the championship standings.

● Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series Top Fuel driver Clay Millican is back on track at Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie for this weekend’s Virginia Nationals. Millican has three semifinal appearances – Las Vegas Four Wide Nationals, New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, and Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee – and an appearance in the Top Fuel final at the Four Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. He sits seventh in points, just 26 points out of fifth-place.

● Rick Ware has been a motorsports mainstay for more than 40 years. It began at age six when the third-generation racer began his driving career and has since spanned four wheels and two wheels on both asphalt and dirt. Competing in the SCCA Trans Am Series and other road-racing divisions led Ware to NASCAR in the early 1980s, where he finished third in his NASCAR debut – the 1983 Warner W. Hodgdon 300 NASCAR Grand American race at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. More than a decade later, injuries would force Ware out of the driver seat and into fulltime team ownership. In 1995, Rick Ware Racing was formed, and with wife Lisa by his side, Ware has since built his eponymous organization into an entity that fields two fulltime entries in the NASCAR Cup Series while simultaneously campaigning successful teams in the Top Fuel class of the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, Progressive American Flat Track and FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX), where RWR won the 2022 SX2 championship with rider Shane McElrath.

Justin Haley, Driver Q&A

The No. 51 team has been performing so well, it’s becoming “normal” to see you running in the top-15 every weekend. Are you carrying that momentum and confiendce into New Hampshire?

“I feel good about New Hampshire. Rick and this team had a really good car there with Cole Custer last year. I remember riding around the No. 51 car for a lot of that race, right around the top-15, and I think our short-track program has been pretty sporty lately. Me and the team are clicking well and we’ve been pretty quick in the last month, so hopefully we’ll continue on that and keep up the consistency.”

The season is now halfway complete. Where would you say the No. 51 team is at leading into Loudon?

“We’ve kind of started to pick it up recently. I have a great crew chief in Chris Lawson, and with that you have to have a team owner, team president, and competition director who are willing to give you the resources you need to go out there and compete. And I’ve got all of that at Rick Ware. It’s not just one thing or one person. I can say, as confident as ever, the racecars I’m driving right now are some of the best-handling and most competitive racecars I’ve ever driven in my life. Huge props to everyone at Rick Ware. We don’t have a lot. I think people think that we have more than we actually do, but what we do have is a bunch of hard-working men and women who are putting everything into this race team. To get Rick these finishes makes me super proud, to show him that his race team is capable of doing this. It’s been a cool stretch over the past month. But the sport is always moving forward, and if we don’t keep pushing forward and continuing to better ourselves, we’ll get left in the dust pretty quickly. So now we’re working as hard as ever to keep up and try to improve”

Kaz Grala, Driver Q&A

This will be your first Cup Series start at New Hampshire. How excited are you to get to race in front of your home crowd?

“I’ve been looking forward to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is going to be so great to be able to get in front of the New England race fans. I’ve said for years that I feel like New Hampshire, and New England in general, they may not have the most fans, but they have the most passionate motorsports fans. When you go up there, the stands are packed and everybody’s having the best time. My goal has always been to try to grow the local following that I’ve had, and try to put racing a little bit more on the map in the Boston area, where I’m from. We went to a ton of NASCAR races when I was young, just being a fan in the grandstands and tailgating in New Hampshire.”

Do you remember your first Cup Series experience as a fan?

“I was young and David Ragan was a big supporter for me as I worked my way through the different racing I was doing at the time. The very first time I ever got a NASCAR Cup Series hot pass was to New Hampshire. David was in the UPS No. 6 for Roush Fenway Racing, and I got to sit on their pit box. And that was the very first time I had any sort of up-close-and-personal experience with NASCAR in the Cup Series. Now I’m kind of having a different first-time experience in the Cup Series on the driver side with Rick Ware Racing, a team that’s very much on the rise, and it’s exciting every weekend to be able to go out to the racetrack and know we’ve got a chance to run well. I look to New Hampshire to be very much the same opport

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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