GRAY MOTORSPORTS CARRIES MOMENTUM THROUGH QUALIFYING AND A RUNNER-UP PERFORMANCE IN THE K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE INTO SUNDAY AT THE 18TH ANNUAL DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA NATIONALS
Las Vegas, NV (April 1) - Saturday at the Strip in Las Vegas, Gray Motorsports took advantage of every opportunity to prepare for Sunday Eliminations and nearly collected the K&N Horsepower Challenge $50,000 bonus money.
Shane Gray, the bonus events' #4 Qualifier, squared off with Vincent Nobile first round and Erica Enders in the Semi-Final to reach his first K&N Horsepower Challenge Final Round in his 6th career appearance at the event . In the final, Gray had the advantage off the starting line by .004 seconds to Greg Anderson, but came up .011 seconds shy at the finish line to Anderson having ran a 6.699 e.t. to Andersons' 6.684 e.t.
"I feel really good about what we did here today. Obviously, we wanted to win this race and felt we were in a great position to. We came up just a bit short, but we were able to take advantage and gather a lot of data going into Sunday for both Tanner and I. We are definitely feeling good about tomorrow," says Shane.
Tanner Gray got to take in the K&N Horsepower Challenge alongside his Father, for the first time as his teammate. "It was great watching Dad compete all afternoon in this event. I really wanted to see him win this one because I know how bad he wanted it. This may have been his last opportunity, so it would have been cool to see him seal the deal," said Tanner.
Shane goes into Sunday eliminations from the 9th position having qualified with a 6.703 @ 206.29mph while Tanner will start from the 5th Spot having laid down a 6.665 @ 205.22mph during Q2 Friday Night.
"I think we are in a great position as a team right now. We are making good consistent runs and making strides towards those KB cars. We made our best run in qualifying last night and, as a driver, it wasn't perfect on my part so we definitely have a little more there. We have 2 good cars over here with a great team and high expectations. We are looking to turn on win lights tomorrow," says Tanner.
With both Gray Motorsports cars having made good runs all through qualifying, crew chief Dave Connolly feels optimistic on their chances going into Sunday. "Qualifying went very good with both cars and even more so with Tanner's car. We tried a few things and made a great run in Q4, so I feel very comfortable where we are at with his car. Race day is going to be very hot and tricky. It will be a matter of making good, clean runs to win the battle. Shane in the K&N race was a great opportunity to see a lot of track conditions that we will probably encounter tomorrow. Anytime you can get those opportunities, it definitely can give you the upper hand."
Coverage of Sunday's Eliminations at the DENSO Spark lug NHRA Nationals at the Strip in Las Vegas will begin at noon Sunday and you can watchthe action LIVE on FS1 starting at 6pm ET.