HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – When Tri-County Motor Speedway opens the gates this Friday, the large contingent of UARA-STARS Late Model Series sophomores and rookies will have extra motivation to reach victory lane in the MotorsportsPhoto.com 150.
One race ago, 14-year old Kaz Grala became the youngest winner in the history of the series and the second first-time winner this season out of the four drivers who have won events.
“I remember thinking that it really couldn’t be happening, there was no way I was about to win a UARA event in only my second start,” said Grala after his win at Hickory. “But it was real and everything fell into place. My crew at Falcon Racing did a fantastic job to get me to that point and gave me a great car to drive.”
Grala joined Brodie Kostecki as the other first-time winner this year after Kostecki claimed the win at Rockingham, becoming the series’ first foreign-born driver to claim a checkered flag. Coincidentally, it was Kostecki who Grala had to beat at Hickory for the win. Both drivers will be looking for their second career wins at Tri-County. Grala’s teammate, 2012 UARA champion Travis Swaim, picked up his second career win at Tri-County last fall in the same car that Grala will be driving.
Other drivers still looking for their first series win include Devin Jones, Chandler LeVan and Garrett Jones among others. Each driver has had flashes of brilliance in the recent past, but has yet to visit victory lane. Devin Jones came the closest one year ago at Anderson after finishing second to Scott Turlington.
“My crew chief, David King, had so much success at Tri-County in the past, and I really like the racetrack, too,” said Devin Jones, a second-year driver on the tour. “We’ve really been working together well and the more we learn about this new tire, I think the better we will be. There wouldn’t be any place better than Tri-County to pick up my first tour win.”