Denver, NC (September 6, 2017) – It was a historical Labor Day weekend for NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray at the 63rdAnnual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Not only did he clinch second in the Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship road to the countdown, he also teamed up with his father and grandfather to make it the first three generations of one family to qualify and race together in a professional class at an NHRA national event.
“Racing with my dad and grandpa this past weekend was a lot of fun,” 18 year old Gray said. “Seeing my grandpa in a pro stock car and racing with me is a memory I will never forget. I am very blessed to have had this opportunity.”
Tanner’s father, Shane, and grandfather Johnny exited race day after the first round of eliminations.
In order to secure the number two seed in the championship points standings, Tanner Gray would have to fend off world champion Greg Anderson who trailed Gray by only 37 points coming into this event.
“Greg (Anderson) has been a friend of the family for many years,” Tanner Gray said. “Cody (Anderson, Greg Anderson’s son) and I would ride scooters around the track as our dads were racing. Now that I am driving in this category, Greg is someone who I enjoy competing with the most (other than my dad).”
On race day, Gray would defeat Deric Kramer in the first round of eliminations. Tanner would defeat Allen Johnson during the quarterfinals and fall short to Gray Motorsports teammate Drew Skillman on a holeshot during the semifinal matchup. The defeat in the semifinal round would leave the fate of Gray’s second place points position to Skillman, who would face Anderson in the final round. Skillman was quick on the tree against Anderson in the final round. Skillman won with a holeshot victory and allowed Gray to secure the second place standing after the event concluded.
“I am so happy for Drew (Skillman),” Gray said. “He is one of my best friends and if I couldn’t win it, I would have hoped he would have got it done and he did! Maintaining second place in the points standings rolling into the final six events is icing on the cake.”
Tanner Gray and his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro will test Thursday September 7 at Zmax Dragway in Concord, NC in preparation for The Carolina Nationals September 15-17.