JOLIET, Ill. (July 1, 2012) – The 15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals provided the opportunity for Pro Stock driver Shane Gray and his Gray Motorsports team to continue fine-tuning their new NTB/Service Central Chevy Camaro and acquire even more information that will be useful in the future as the Countdown to the Championship draws closer.
Gray showed marked improvement and comfort in his two-race old Chevrolet throughout qualifying as he clicked off runs of 6.69, 6.66, 6.66, and 6.64 to earn a raceday position in the field. With 22 cars vying for 16 spots, it was no easy feat, but the team’s steady focus and consistency ensured their berth.
Raceday dawned with a bleak weather forecast that delayed the opening act by several hours, and Gray and his compadres patiently waited out the storm but were rewarded with a too-early exit handed to them by young gun Vincent Nobile. Nobile was 6.65 as he tripped the final timer on the racetrack, while Gray’s scoreboard flashed a 6.67.
“Of course, I’m disappointed. We wanted more,” said Gray, who holds the No. 9 position in the Pro Stock standings. “I know it’s still pretty early to have such high expectations – this is only our second race with the new car – but we also know this NTB/Service Central Chevy has it in her, and we want to see it on the racetrack. That has us excited, and I’ll tell you what: we’ve got the next race right around the corner, and we’re going to keep our expectations high. There’s no reason to back down. And we won’t.”
Gray will drive the NTB/Service Central Chevy Camaro at the next event on the Full Throttle Series tour, Norwalk’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, in just a few short days, July 6-8.
Shane Gray NTB/Service Central Chevy Camaro
Final qualifying position: No. 11
Round one: Vincent Nobile (6.652 seconds at 207.56) def. Gray (6.679, 206.45)
1. Greg Anderson 995
2. Jason Line 893
3. Allen Johnson 888
4. Mike Edwards 783
5. Erica Enders 695
6. Vincent Nobile 694
7. Ronnie Humphrey 519
8. Rodger Brogdon 461
9. Shane Gray 427
10. Larry Morgan 403
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