NASCAR news roundup (1/14/21): Kaz Grala signs with Kaulig, Next Gen testing continues

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 24: The sign outside Charlotte Motor Speedway is seen on April 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A proposed schedule shows NASCAR is preparing plans for a possible return to racing in May at Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Read for the latest news around NASCAR.

Kaz Grala signs with Kaulig

Kaulig Racing announced that Kaz Grala would be driving some of the organization’s Cup Series races in the No. 16 car. Grala, 22, has raced part-time in the Xfinity Series the past three seasons and the past two with Richard Childress Racing. The driver made his Cup Series debut in 2020, filling in for Austin Dillion and finishing 7th at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course after Dillion received a positive COVID-19 test result.

Grala will make his 2021 Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500, assuming the team qualifies.  He will make several other starts throughout the season, with an official schedule coming soon.

A Crew Chief hasn’t been announced, but it’s expected that Brett Griffin will spot the car.

Next Gen testing continues at Charlotte

NASCAR tested the Next Gen car again on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with Kurt Busch behind the wheel of the prototype for the second time. He and Martin Truex Jr. tested the car shortly after the 2020 season at Charlotte, and Busch was there to check some of the issues encountered during the earlier test. According to competition officials, the test went well.

More testing needs to be completed with the car, including Goodyear tire tests. A 2021 testing schedule hasn’t been announced.

Miguel Paludo to run three Xfinity road course races

JR Motorsports announced this week that Miguel Paludo would race three road courses in the 2021 Xfinity Series. Paludo, 37, hasn’t raced in NASCAR since 2013 in the Camping World Truck Series.

Paludo will race the No. 8 machine at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Circuit of the Americas, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Newman, Roush Fenway Racing land new sponsorship

Kohler Generators have signed with Ryan Newman and Roush Fenway Racing, becoming an anchor partner in 2021. The company will be Newman’s primary sponsor for eight races, including the Daytona 500.

With Kohler on the hood, Newman’s looking to win his second Daytona 500 and redeem himself after his horrific wreck in 2020. He was wrecked leading with just feet to go in last year’s race. Roush Fenway is looking for the team’s third victory in the Great American Race.