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Jun 28, 2013 - 08:49 AM
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2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Plans To Pick Up Where He Left Off In Chicago
Posted by: newsla on Jun 28, 2013 - 08:45 AM
2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Plans To Pick Up Where He Left Off In Chicago

As the 2013 season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series hits the midpoint with its annual stop at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, Shane Gray and the Gray Motorsports Pro Stock crew are in the midst of proving their worth as a team in the running for an exceptional finish. Now in his fourth year as a driver in the extremely competitive Pro Stock category, the second-generation drag racer is eager for every race, including this weekend's Route 66 NHRA Nationals.


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The enthusiasm is certainly stoked by recent events, particularly another final-round finish – Gray's fourth of the season – at the inaugural New England Nationals just last weekend. Gray was also a finalist for three consecutive races earlier this season: Charlotte, Houston and Atlanta.

The Denver, N.C.-based driver forfeited a close one to Allen Johnson in the New England final last week, but he is determined not to let another one get away.

"The Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro is really something," said Gray. "This car hauls ass. We had lane choice every round on the way to the final last week, and we just have a great racecar. I look at my crew chief Justin Elkes and the whole team, and I just think my guys are awesome. They're working so hard and it really shows. I'd be real happy if we could get it done this weekend in Chicago. That's what we're going for."

A year ago, Gray debuted a Chevy Camaro and was one of the first to bring out the familiar yet rejuvenated Bow Tie in the category. After many trials and tribulations, this year he and the team seem to be getting the combination right. Gray comes to Chicago sitting a respectable sixth in the series standings.

At this point last season, Gray was battling to maintain a position in the top 10 with the Countdown to the Championship looming, but this time around, the methodically forward-moving team is right on course for a role in the chase for the coveted series title.

"We're not looking too far ahead, but we're pretty excited right now about the performance of our car," said Gray. "We're going to Chicago intending to pick up right where we left off last week, except we're going to do it one better. We keep doing that, and we'll have something even bigger to reach for here in a few weeks."

Event Schedule (All Times Central):
Friday, June 28, 4:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m., qualifying
Saturday, June 29, 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m., qualifying
Sunday, June 30, 11 a.m., championship eliminations

Television Coverage (All coverage on ESPN2):
Saturday, June 29, 6:30-8 p.m. & 11 p.m.-12 a.m. (ET, delayed), qualifying
Sunday, June 30, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., (ET, delayed), eliminations

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