Kaz Grala

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Cody Coughlin joins GMS Racing in Truck Series

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GMS Racing announced Tuesday that it has signed Cody Coughlin to compete for the team in the Camping World Truck Series this season.

Coughlin, the son of NHRA driver and JEGS President John Coughlin, joins the team after one year driving for ThorSport Racing.

The 22-year-old driver will pilot the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet in his second full-time season in the series.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the GMS Racing family as well as be back running for Chevrolet,” Coughlin said in a press release. “GMS is a team that has proven to be one of the teams to beat every time they unload at the race track and now I have the same opportunity. I can’t thank GMS Racing, (team owners) Maury Gallagher and Mike Beam enough for this chance. I think we have the right tools and personnel in place with the No.2 team to run up front and contend for race wins every weekend.”

Coughlin joins Justin Haley, Dalton Sargeant and 2016 series champion Johnny Sauter.

Coughlin has 35 series starts since 2015. His best finish is third at Phoenix in November last season. It is his only top-five finish. He has three tops 10s.

The native of Delaware, Ohio, will be paired with crew chief Jerry Baxter. Baxter worked with Kaz Grala in 2017. Together they won the season opener at Daytona and earned five top fives and 11 top 10s.

Baxter has 10 wins as a crew chief in the Truck Series, including five with Darrell Wallace Jr.

“I’m more than ready to get the 2018 season underway,” Baxter said in a press release. “Last year we raced against Cody every weekend, so I have an idea of the type of driver he is. It will be even better to be able to work with him now firsthand. We have a good group of hard-working guys on the No. 2 that will definitely put us in the position to run well every time we’re at the track.”

The 2018 Truck Series season begins Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway.

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Dylan Lupton returning to JGL Racing for at least 21 Xfinity races

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Dylan Lupton will return to JGL Racing and compete in at least 21 Xfinity Series races this season, the team announced Wednesday.

Lupton will drive the No. 28 Ford after having driven the No. 24 in 14 starts last season.

The 24-year-old driver joins rookie teammate Kaz Grala, who will drive the No. 24.

“We continued to improve throughout the 2017 season and I was able to gain valuable experience that will help tremendously in the new season,” Lupton said in a press release. “With the switch to Ford over the off-season and our new alliance with Roush Fenway Racing, I am confident that we will be competitive right out of the gate. I would like to thank (JGL Racing owner) James Whitener and the whole JGL Racing organization for this opportunity.”

Lupton has 24 Xfinity starts since 2015. His best finish is 10th at Mid-Ohio in 2015.

The native of Wilton, California, also has two wins in the K&N Pro Series West.

Lupton’s first start of 2018 will come in the Feb. 17 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

JGL Racing will announce Lupton’s sponsorship and crew chief at a later date.

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Shane Wilson joins JGL Racing as crew chief to Kaz Grala

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JGL Racing has paired Kaz Grala, its rookie driver in the Xfinity Series, with crew chief Shane Wilson for 2018, the team announced Thursday.

Grala, who competed for GMS Racing in the Camping World Truck Series in 2017, will drive JGL Racing’s No. 24 Ford.

Grala, 18 (turns 19 on Dec. 29), made the playoffs with his win in the season-opening race at Daytona.

Wilson arrives at JGL Racing after four seasons at Richard Childress Racing as crew chief for Brendan Gaughan, who will not race full-time in 2018.

Wilson served as Gaughan’s crew chief in multiple series off-and-on since his first year as a crew chief in 2000 on the K&N Pro Series West circuit. He has earned 17 Xfinity Series wins and two Cup wins.

“I am excited to join JGL Racing,” Wilson said in a press release.  “They have been improving their performance each year since they started racing in the Xfinity Series.  With the addition of the technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing and Kaz as the driver – along with the internal support from James (Whitener) and Steven (Lane) – this should make for another positive step in performance and results in 2018.”

Steven Lane, who was crew chief on the No. 24 in 2017, will now be team manager and competition director.

JGL Racing will also field the No. 28 next season, but no announcement have been made regarding it.

“The addition of a talented and experienced crew chief such as Shane is great for our entire organization,” said team owner James Whitener in a press release. “We continue to build our program and it is crucial for us to add personnel such as Shane. This move also allows us to shift Steven Lane to a bigger leadership position which we feel only makes our program stronger.”

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Chase Briscoe earns Miami Truck pole; Austin Cindric highest of Championship 4 drivers

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Chase Briscoe took the pole for tonight’s Camping World Truck Series season-ending and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Briscoe was fastest with a speed of 167.499 mph, followed by Ben Rhodes (167.348 mph), who will also sit on the front row when the green flag drops tonight.

Three of the four Championship 4 drivers didn’t qualify as well as they might have liked.

One did, however, as 19-year-old Austin Cindric qualified third (166.831). Cindric and Briscoe are both competing in the final race for Brad Keselowski Racing, which is folding after this season.

As for the other three Championship 4 drivers, two-time Truck champ Matt Crafton qualified eighth (165.614), defending series champ Johnny Sauter (165.092) qualified 11th, and Christopher Bell (165.309) failed to advance past the first round of qualifying. He’ll start tonight’s championship race 13th.

As for the rest of the top 12 qualifiers who are not running for the championship, Grant Enfinger was fourth (166.590) followed by Noah Gragson (165.909), Ryan Truex (165.848) and Justin Haley in seventh (165.705). Also, Stewart Friesen qualified ninth (165.431), Kaz Grala was 10th (165.203) and Myatt Snider was 12th (161.575).

The Ford EcoBoost 200 will take the green flag shortly after 8 p.m. ET. The race will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for the full qualifying grid.

Kaz Grala joining JGL Racing full-time in Xfinity next season

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Kaz Grala will make the move to the Xfinity Series in 2018 when he competes full-time in the No. 24 Ford for JGL Racing, the team announced Friday.

Grala, 18, makes the move after one season in the Camping World Truck Series with GMS Racing. Grala earned one win, in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. He is the youngest driver to win a national NASCAR race at Daytona.

Multiple drivers piloted the No. 24 this season, including Dylan Lupton, Corey LaJoie, Jeb Burton and Drew Herring. JGL Racing also fielded the No. 28 for Dakoda Armstrong, but the car hasn’t run since Kentucky due to a lack of sponsorship.

“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to drive for JGL Racing next year full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” Grala said in a press release. “I’ve been watching Xfinity races since I was a little kid, so to be able to compete at that high of a level is nothing short of a dream come true. I can’t thank James Whitener (owner of JGL Racing) and everyone at JGL enough for this opportunity.”

Grala has five top fives and an average finish of 14.1 in the No. 33 truck ahead of tonight’s season finale in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

JGL Racing’s move from Toyota to Ford coincides with the team entering a technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing.

“These are exciting times for the JGL Racing organization,” Whitener said in a press release.  “We appreciate the support we have received from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last few years. We felt that in order for our team to make the next step in our growth process that we needed a more robust technical alliance behind us – and this opportunity with Ford Performance and Roush Fenway Racing provided us that and made the most sense. We look forward to finishing out the season in our No. 24 car and then we will turn our attention to 2018 and getting all of the proper pieces into place.”