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Kaz Grala joins Richard Childress Racing part-time in Xfinity Series

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Kaz Grala will race part-time for Richard Childress Racing this season in the Xfinity Series, the team announced Thursday.

Grala, 20, will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet in select races, beginning with the March 30 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

It is scheduled to be Grala’s first start since the 2018 finale in Miami.

Grala made 22 starts last year, 10 with JGL Racing and then 12 with his family owned Fury Race Cars after he lost his ride with JGL due to a lack of financial support from team owner James Whitener, who was experiencing health problems. Grala earned two top fives and five top 10s.

“This is definitely the biggest opportunity I’ve had in my career,” Grala said in a press release. “Running for a powerhouse team like RCR is a dream come true, and one I plan on making the most of. With only a limited number of races to make an impression, I’m ready to get to work and lay it all on the line.”

Grala has one NASCAR win, in the 2017 Gander Outdoors Truck Series opener at Daytona.

The native of Boston, Massachusetts, will have Tyler Reddick as a teammate in the races he competes in.

“I’m looking forward to having Kaz Grala join RCR this year,” Richard Childress said in the press release. “Kaz is a talented young driver who has proven he can win in any type of racing. I think he’ll be up to speed and contending for multiple wins for us out on the track in no time.”

Grala’s sponsor and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

Chase Briscoe wins inaugural Xfinity race on Charlotte Roval

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CONCORD, N.C. — Chase Briscoe won the inaugural Xfinity Series race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, earning his first career series win in the process.

Briscoe, 23, led the final 24 laps to earn the win in his 14th series start.

Driving the No. 98 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBest, Briscoe defeated Justin Marks, Austin Cindric, Ryan Preece and Christopher Bell.

Briscoe has split time this season between the No. 98 and Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford. Entering Saturday’s race he had led only 12 laps. He led 33 of the race’s 55 laps.

He took the lead for the first time on the Stage 2 restart, passing Daniel Hemric.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Christopher Bell

More: Roval win boosts Chase Briscoe’s “disaster” of a season

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Justin Marks earned his third career top five in his next-to-last NASCAR start. Sunday’s Cup race will be his last … Austin Cindric finished third after spinning from the lead with three laps left in Stage 1 and falling back to fourth … Kaz Grala placed eighth, earning his best finish on a non-restrictor plate track … Alex Labbe bounced back from a mechanical issue on Lap 1 to place 13th for his second-best finish this year.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: After running in the top five most of the day, Daniel Hemric overshot the frontstretch chicane in the closing laps while running second. After serving his on-track penalty, Hemric fell back to ninth and finished 10th … Justin Allgaier finished 15th after he pit during the final caution to repair damage from the end of Stage 2 when he was spun by Austin Cindric and hit by Ryan Sieg as he exited pit road.

NOTABLE: Chase Briscoe is the third driver to earn their first Xfinity win this season (Ross Chastain, Spencer Gallagher).

WHAT’S NEXT: Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway at 3 p.m. ET on Oct. 6 on NBCSN

Check back for more

Friday’s Xfinity practice report from the Charlotte Roval

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Daniel Hemric was fastest in the final Xfinity practice on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Friday, posting a top speed of 104.966 mph.

The top five was completed by Ryan Truex (103.657 mph), Cole Custer (103.300), Ty Majeski (103.273) and Justin Allgaier (102.936).

Matt Tifft, Kaz Grala and Michael Annett each recorded the most laps with 20.

Of the five drivers who made 10-lap run, Grala had the best average at 101.414 mph.

Ryan Preece spun without contact six minutes into the session in the frontstretch chicane.

Spencer Gallagher also had a harmless spin about 43 minutes into the session.

Click here for the speed chart.

First practice

Austin Cindric was fastest in the first of two practice sessions Friday for tomorrow’s Xfinity Series race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.

Cindric, who was also fastest in Thursday’s first practice session, posted a top speed of 104.636 mph.

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric (104.479 mph), Alex Labbe (104.479), Ryan Preece (103.838) and Justin Allgaier (103.503).

Katherine Legge, Justin Marks and Tyler Reddick recorded the most laps with 19.

The session was red flagged after 28 minutes for J.J. Yeley crashing nose-first into the Turn 1 tire barrier.

Christopher Bell spun exiting Turn 3 with about 8 minutes and 30 seconds left in the session. He hit a tire barrier with the right side his car.

Click here for the practice report.

Xfinity practice report at Road America

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FINAL PRACTICE

Justin Marks posted the fastest lap in final practice for the Johnsonville 180 at Road America with a speed of 109.603 mph.

He beat James Davison (109.179 mph) by more than half a second (.517).

Austin Cindric (109.147), Justin Allgaier (109.070) and Matt Tifft (108.884) rounded out the top five.

Making his return to NASCAR, Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (105.791) posted the 26th fastest time.

Last year’s winner, Jeremy Clements had a left front tire go flat in turn five 20 minutes into final practice and brought out a red flag.

Kaz Grala and Brian Henderson had off-course excursions in Canada Corner.

After driving off course in the rain in practice one, Tyler Reddick spun with Katherine Legge in Turn 5 with 50 minutes remaining in the session. Both drivers returned to the pits under their own power. Reddick had damage on the right front; Legge had damage on the left rear.

Legge (106.524) ended the session 23rd on the chart.

Click here for complete results

FIRST PRACTICE

Wet conditions kept most of the competitors off track in the first practice session.

Rookies Reddick and Conor Daly were the only two drivers to take to the track.

Reddick made several laps practicing his entry onto pit road. Only one circuit was completed at speed (152.280).

Midway through the session, Reddick had an off-course excursion.

“Got a little wheel hop in the brakes and as soon as I tried to go down into the next gear, it went into neutral and didn’t catch third,” Reddick said on the NBCSN Sports App. “At that point, just hoping that when I hit the sand pit it wouldn’t do too bad a damage, but unfortunately it tore the splitter up pretty bad. “

Preliminary entry lists for Road America, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

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The Cup Series is enjoying its final off-week of the 2018 season. That leaves the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series to enjoy the spotlight.

Both series will be on their own, competing on different road courses. Xfinity teams return to Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Truck Series travels to Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, to race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here are the entry lists for both races.

Xfinity – Johnsonville 180 (3 p.m. ET on Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 41 entries for the race, including Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, who will drive GMS Racing’s No. 23 Chevrolet in his first NASCAR start since 2012.

James Davison is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota, making his second consecutive start for the team at Road America.

IndyCar driver Conor Daly will attempt to make his NASCAR debut in Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 Ford.

Last year, Jeremy Clements was the surprise upset, scoring his first career NASCAR win.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Silverado 250

There are 31 entries for the race.

Alex Tagliani is entered in Young’s Motorsports’ No. 12 Chevrolet.

Jesse Iwuji will make his national NASCAR series debut in Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 34 Chevrolet.

Last year, Austin Cindric won his first career NASCAR race after spinning Kaz Grala on the last lap.

Click here for the entry list.