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Fan favorite Kaz Grala is getting another shot in the Cup Series in 2024, and it’s the most significant opportunity yet for the 25-year-old. Rick Ware Racing announced Grala will compete in 25 NASCAR Cup races in the No. 15 RWR Ford Mustang in 2024.

2023 NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum
2023 Clash at the Coliseum | Chris Graythen (Getty Images)

The team did not specify all races in which Grala will pilot the No. 15. However, he is scheduled to compete at the Clash at the Coliseum Feb. 4 and will make his regular season debut at the Feb. 25 Atlanta race.

RWR tapping Grala follows a string of limited opportunities over the years despite some success. Grala made a notable full-time debut in the Truck Series in 2017. In just his 10th race in the series, he won the season-opening race at Daytona. He went on to capture 10 more top-10 finishes that season and placed seventh in the final points standings.

Grala left the Truck Series after his impressive debut, but he’s struggled to garner a full-time ride since. He competed for two teams in the Xfinity Series in 2018, running 22 of 33 races. But in 2019, he compiled just five starts (with one top-five).

Grala made another notable debut when moving up to the Cup Series. He replaced Austin Dillon in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy for the Daytona road course race after Dillon tested positive for COVID-19. Grala made the most of his opportunity, fighting through the field to place seventh.

He entered six races in the 2021-22 seasons, including three races driving for Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team in 2022.     

Grala finally earned his second full-time ride last season, this time in Xfinity with Sam Hunt Racing. He earned two top-fives and nine top-10s, but SHR announced Grala would not be returning to the team in 2024.

That opened the door for Grala’s latest opportunity with RWR. As such, he’s expected to quadruple his number of Cup Series starts this year. He’s also relishing his underdog role, noting he believes he can “thrive in that position.”

“I’ve gotten the chance to race in the Cup Series a handful of times already, so I know how big of a jump it is from the Xfinity Series,” Grala said in a press release. “The depth of talent in Cup is steep. It really is the highest level of motorsport in the U.S., with both the quality of teams and the drivers. Last year, the Xfinity Series had a particularly deep field of fulltime competitors, so I feel like 2023 was the right year for me to gain experience ahead of this next step in my career.

Grala joins another new-to-RWR driver in Justin Haley, who will pilot the No. 51 Ford full-time for the team in 2024. Grala could also share seat time with Cody Ware. Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass noted on X, formerly Twitter, Ware will compete in “some races” in the No. 15 alongside Grala.

Ware was suspended by NASCAR last April after being charged with two charges of assault stemming from an altercation with his former girlfriend. The charges were dropped in late 2023, and NASCAR has since lifted Ware’s suspension.

Additional sources: [X], [Fox Sports]