DENVER, North Carolina (March 30) - Rookie Tanner Gray will continue to pursue the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award this weekend at the 18th Annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.
Three races into the season, Tanner’s passion to compete has led him to a semifinal appearance in Pomona, CA, and 2 quarterfinal appearances in both Phoenix, AZ and Gainesville, FL.
The 17 year old drivers' love for racing continuously pushes him to become the best driver he can be. His focus on the starting line has been more than apparent with the rest of the class and his work ethic away from the track was demonstrated most recently with his whole shot win in Gainesville. And it doesn't stopthere......
Not even 12 hours before traveling to this weekend’s event in Las Vegas, you could have found Tanner at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, NC, oval racing his Dirt Outlaw Kart and winning his first feature in the Open Division for 2017. This series features drivers from diverse racing backgrounds such as Noah Gragson of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr of the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Coming into this weekend’s DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA National Event, the Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevy Camaro team likes their odds in Sin City. “Coming off of a Gray Motorsports win at the Gatornationals means a lot and obviously provides our team with some momentum leading into this weekend” says Tanner. “We stayed an extra day in Gainesville to fine tune our cars in preparation. Our team has shown we have a good handle on the track and on the car.”
Father, and teammate, Shane Gray has won 2 of the last 5 national events going back to his NHRA Toyota Nationals victory in fall 2016 at The Strip in Las Vegas, NV. Gray also earned a spot into the Pro Stock bonus race, the K&N Horsepower Challenge. 8 Pro Stock drivers will square off this Saturday for the $50,000.
“Racing in the K&N Challenge is special” Shane says. “K&N (air filters) has been a long time supporter of the Pro Stock class. To be one of the 8 racers with the opportunity at that bonus money and the weekend trophy is a huge statement for the hard work this team puts in all year long. We're excited and want to thank K&N (air filters) for their continued support"
This year will be Shane's 5th K&N Horsepower Challenge showing with appearances in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Qualified in the No. 4 position, he will race Vincent Nobile in round one on Saturday.
Pro Stock qualifying sessions for the 18th annual Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals are scheduled for 2 and 4:30 p.m., Friday, and 1:40 and 4:05 p.m., Saturday, with eliminations starting at 1 p.m., Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports 1 begins with two qualifying shows, one at 3:30 p.m., Friday, and the other at 4 p.m., Saturday, followed by live elimination action beginning at 3 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in PDT).