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Full speed ahead for Westborough’s teen racer

For almost two months, Legends Car Pro class driver Kaz Grala has been in limbo.

“Definitely a little anxious,” said Grala. “It was stressful.”

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The 14-year-old Westborough resident, an eighth-grader at Worcester Academy, was disqualified from the fifth race of the INEX Winter Heat eight-race series because of a broken engine seal.

Days later, his car’s engine was inspected and returned with a clean bill of health, but a hearing loomed. The proceedings, which were held on Monday, officially rescinded the disqualification and declared Grala the series winner.

“We went out for a nice dinner,” said Grala. “We had a great time, a great meal. It was a happy celebration.”

Though the ruling was not surprising, Grala can now look forward after a successful, event-filled past few weeks. In mid-February, Grala earned his first payday by winning at the Auburndale Speedway in Winter Haven, Fla.

He also joined Hedgecock Racing, and appeared on live television in NASCAR’s ­“UNOH Battle at the Beach” as the youngest driver ever — at 14 years, 51 days old — to compete at Daytona.

With his experience from four NASCAR races, and the opportunity presented by his berth in an April 25 race at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia to be televised on the Speed Channel, Grala’s future shines bright.

“It’s going great,” said Grala. “I love the team. I love the car. It’s been the right choice, the right next step.”

Paul Lazdowski can be reached at pmlazdowski@gmail.com.
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