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Jun 30, 2013 - 07:36 AM
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2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Continues Top Half Qualifying Streak in Joliet
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2013 - 07:33 AM
2013 NHRA: Shane Gray Continues Top Half Qualifying Streak in Joliet

Gray Motorsports Pro Stock driver Shane Gray continued his streak of 2013 top-half qualifying efforts in NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and will start from the No. 7 position at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.


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Gray, of Denver, N.C., clocked a 6.643 at 208.55 mph in the first run of the weekend on Friday but then had to put his Gray Motorsports Camaro away for the night as bad weather surrounded the facility and NHRA officials called an end to the day. On Saturday, provisionally positioned in the No. 8 position, Gray improved to a 6.609 at 208.42 and was fourth-quickest of the session to move up four spots to fourth in the line-up.

The notable pass allowed Gray to start from the back of the pack in the final session, and that later round on Saturday was highly anticipated to be the best of the weekend. The second-generation driver settled into his Justin Elkes-tuned Camaro for a straight and clean 6.588, again at nearly 209 mph.

"We like being the last pair out because that means we made a pretty good run the round before," said Gray, who earned the No. 7 position and will race against Larry Morgan in the first round on Sunday.

"The crew guys are consistently making flawless runs with the car every race lately. It's great to have such a strong team behind me. We were a little bit disappointed that last run there because we were shooting for a 6.55 and we were thinking we could at least get to 210 mph. Our speed is low this weekend, but we're investigating and working towards getting quicker. We did a motor swap tonight after that last run and went back to the engine we were running in Epping [last weekend]. Tomorrow should be good for the Gray Motorsports team."

Gray's first-round meeting with Morgan will be the first time that the two have met on raceday since this same event in 2011, when Gray got the better of Morgan and went on to record a semifinals finish.

"I'm not going to make any strong statements," said Gray, already a four-time finalist this season. "But I'm going to go run my race and see which win light comes on. Everyone on this team is working pretty darn hard, and for all of us, I'd like to say that the Gray Motorsports Camaro will get the win light a few times tomorrow."

Event Schedule (All Times Central):
Sunday, June 30, 11 a.m., championship eliminations

Television Coverage (All coverage on ESPN2, all times Eastern):
Sunday, June 30, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., eliminations

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