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Apr 20, 2013 - 06:24 AM
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2013 NHRA: Shane Gray No. 1 At Conclusion Of Rain Plagued First Day At zMAX
Posted by: newsla on Apr 20, 2013 - 06:23 AM
2013 NHRA: Shane Gray No. 1 At Conclusion Of Rain Plagued First Day At zMAX

Rain put a halt to racing midway through Pro Stock qualifying on the first day of the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, but Shane Gray had a favorable and fortunate start as one of the 10 factory hot rod campaigners to make it down the track before the deluge.


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Gray, piloting his family-backed Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro, was the quickest and fastest of the abbreviated session to take the position of provisional No. 1 qualifier on day one of the unique event.

"It felt pretty good, and we just made the same run here that we did in testing, so it all translated back. That makes us real happy, because that's exactly what we want and need to do," said Gray, who clocked a 6.601 at 210.67 mph that was four-hundredths ahead of the pack.

"We got lucky today, but I wish that the weather had cooperated and everybody would have had a chance to get down the track. I certainly don't think [the No. 1 position] is going to stick because the weather is going to be very different tomorrow, somebody will run a .58 or a .59, but if we can be in the top half when it's all said and done and have a shot on raceday, then I'm happy."

Qualifying will continue on Saturday with two sessions scheduled before the field is set. Crew chief Justin Elkes was pleased with their first run at the Charlotte area racetrack that is just a short drive from the Gray Motorsports shop in Denver, N.C., but with vastly improved weather conditions predicted for Saturday, he knows the team still has their work cut out for them.

"The run today was really good," said Elkes. "We knew the weather was coming in, and we were possibly only going to get one qualifier today. So we just went up there wanting to make a nice, smooth run and build on what we tested last week. We were able to do that, and Shane did a great job driving and staging [in the four-wide format], so I'd say everything went really well. We're No. 1 for the night, but Saturday will be a challenge. Today was good for this Gray Motorsports team, and hopefully tomorrow will be even better."

Event Schedule:
Saturday, April 20: Two qualifying sessions at 12:15 & 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 21: Final eliminations at 12:00 noon

Television Coverage (all coverage on ESPN2):
Qualifying: Saturday, April 20 – 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Eliminations: Sunday, April 21 – 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
(All times Eastern)

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