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2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Looks To Phoenix As Another Step In The Right Direction
Posted by: newsla on Feb 21, 2013 - 05:59 AM
2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Looks To Phoenix As Another Step In The Right Direction

The fresh, new season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has Denver, N.C.-based Pro Stock competitor Shane Gray and his Gray Motorsports team charged up. The first race of the season concluded only a few short days ago in Pomona, Calif., and after the spirited group penciled in the data accumulated, they embarked upon the next step in the journey towards success as they made their way to Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix for the 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals.


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"We're fired up, but we came into this year with the understanding that we had some work to do," said Gray, a second-generation drag racer whose father, Johnny Gray, drives the Gray Motorsports/Pitch Energy Dodge in the nitro Funny Car class.

"The Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro is a new car, and we're continuing to build our revised engine program. We don't come out here and take this lightly; we're paying very close attention to all of the details. Last week in Pomona was great because it gave us the opportunity to see where we stood and what we had to work with, and we were encouraged because we made a couple of very promising runs. We're not trying to rush into this deal and lose ourselves. We want to take a very methodical approach. We believe that will pay off later in the year."

In Pomona last week, Gray qualified his sleek Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro in the No. 13 position and made respectable runs throughout qualifying. On raceday, the focused driver was incredible at the starting line, clocking a .016-second reaction in the opening act followed by a .017 light in round two.

Fourth-year Pro Stock driver Gray also had the opportunity to race as a sportsman competitor in Phoenix behind the wheel of his Comp Eliminator B/Altered in 2009, and although he has yet to move beyond the second round at the desert facility, the weekend ahead could bring winds of change. Gray, however, remains cautiously optimistic.

"It's tough to be patient, and I don't think any drag racer is good at that – it goes against our nature," admitted Gray. "But this team is going to Phoenix with the expectation that we will continue to build this program. We want to qualify well, and we want to see a win light or two on raceday. Anything beyond that and we will be thrilled."

Shane Gray Stats
2013 Pts Races Titles R-Up Poles DNQ Win/Loss
6th 1 0 0 0 0 1-1
Career Races Titles R-Up Poles DNQ Win/Loss
68 2 2 0 3 44-64

6.510-second (Englishtown 2011), 212.46 mph (Englishtown 2012)

Friday: Qualifying, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: Qualifying, 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 11:00 a.m.

Sunday: Qualifying, 1 a.m., re-air 8 a.m. (ET)
Sunday: Championship eliminations, 8 p.m. (ET)

Friday: High 63; 0 percent chance of rain
Saturday: High 69; 0 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 64; 0 percent chance of rain

(unofficial, after 1 of 24 events)
1. Vincent Nobile, 118
2. Jeg Coughlin, 95
3. V. Gaines, 81
4. Greg Stanfield, 72
5. Allen Johnson, 52
6t. Shane Gray, 51
6t. Kurt Johnson, 51
6t. Chris McGaha, 51
9. Mike Edwards, 45
10. Erica Enders-Stevens, 42

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