Ennis, TX (October 14, 2017)- Qualifying at the 32nd annual AAA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas was an emotional roller coaster for NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray.
Right out of the gate in Q1, the Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro would experience engine issues. What seemed like a standard burnout at the starting line turned out to be fatal to the motor, leaving Gray unqualified for Sunday’s race.
After a quick engine swap between rounds, the team would head out to Q2 and redeem themselves. With a respectable pass of 6.637 seconds at 208.04 mph, the team would secure a race day qualifying position provisionally at number seven.
“Throwing away a qualifying session like we did in Q1 shouldn’t happen this late in the season, let alone the countdown,” Tanner said. “We were very fortunate that we were able to switch motors in between rounds and come out and run competitive numbers in Q2.”
Q3 and Q4 Saturday afternoon would continue to improve for the 18 year old. With tune up adjustments, and improving weather conditions, Tanner Gray would run the third fastest pass of the weekend at 6.624 seconds at 207.62 mph, proving that the Gray Motorsports team could be a threat to any other team come race day.
“Our team rebounded during Q3 and Q4. Going low of the session in Q3 and 2nd low in Q4 provides us with additional confidence heading into tomorrow.”
Tanner Gray and team would earn a total of five qualifying points toward the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. Finals coverage of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series can be found on Sunday, Oct. 15, on FS1. Three hours of live finals coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. (ET).