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Oct 06, 2012 - 08:16 AM
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2012 NHRA: Gray And Team Squeeze Out A Solid Top-Half Performance In Lemonator On First Day At Maple Grove
Posted by: newsla on Oct 06, 2012 - 08:13 AM
2012 NHRA: Gray And Team Squeeze Out A Solid Top-Half Performance In Lemonator On First Day At Maple Grove

NTB/Service Central Racing driver Johnny Gray, campaigning his Mopar Dodge with the eye-catching Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation scheme, wheeled his way into the top half of the field at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading on the first day of the event.


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Gray, of Artesia, N.M., had trouble with tire smoke in the first session of the day, but in round two it was smooth sailing as he piloted the car affectionately known as "the Lemonator" down the 1,000-foot racing surface to a nice 4.090 at 313.37 mph.

The solid run situated Gray provisionally in the No. 8 position with two more chances to improve before the field is set for Sunday eliminations.

Gray, along with Don Schumacher Racing, TBC Retail Group, and Service Central Racing, are aiming to bring awareness to and raise funds for the foundation that has generated more than $55 million toward fulfilling the dream of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004), who started a front-yard lemonade stand at 4 years old to raise money towards finding a cure for all children with cancer. The foundation that has carried on in Alex's name funds over 250 research projects annually in the race to find a cure.

Everyone is encouraged to make a $5 donation to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation simply by texting "CANCER TBC" to 85944 during the course of the weekend.

"We want to do well out here for NTB and Service Central, but it is also so important to us to bring attention to this cause," said Gray. "This is about the kids. We hope we can encourage folks to take a look at the website – www.alexslemonade.org – and make a donation by texting CANCER TBC to 85944. Hopefully, tomorrow we can bring even more attention to this cause by getting in a couple of real solid runs with this Lemonator, and then we'll see where we land for Sunday."

Qualifying for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway continues on Saturday with two sessions scheduled – one at noon and another at 3pm Eastern.

SATURDAY: Nitro qualifying, 12 p.m., 3 p.m.
SUNDAY: Final eliminations, 11 a.m.

ON ESPN2 (all times ET)
Sunday: Qualifying, 6-7 p.m. delayed
Sunday: Eliminations, 7-10 p.m. (ET), delayed

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