NHRA Father/Son Team Light up
The 17th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
BRISTOL, TN (June 19, 2017) - Race day at the 17th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals was filled with celebratory smiles even before eliminations began Sunday for the Gray Family. Grandfather Johnny, Son Shane, Son Jonathon, and Grandson Tanner Gray all took part in the special pre race Father's Day track walk as well as a high school graduation ceremony for Tanner Gray.
“It was a great experience to share my graduation with the fans,” Tanner Gray said. "I know today will be a very special memory for the entire family."
Round 1 of eliminations featured Gray Motorsports versus KB racing. National Event Winner Shane Gray would face World Champion Jason Line, as Youngest Driver to Ever Win a National Event Tanner Gray, would line up against World Champion Greg Anderson. Both Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro's prevailed and moved on to a Father/Son matchup round 2.
“Coming into eliminations today, I knew Greg (Anderson) was going to be tough to beat," Tanner Gray said. "“I am excited to line up against my dad, especially on Father's Day. Would be even better to get the win!”
The Gray Family quarterfinal match up could have came straight out of a storybook. Father versus son on Father's Day. The last time Shane and Tanner Gray met during eliminations was first round of the NHRA Southern Nationals of which the win light would go to Tanner Gray.
“Tanner (Gray) and I met first round in Atlanta and unfortunately he beat me." Father Shane Gray said. "I am looking forward to beating him.”
The win light was robbed yet again from Father Shane Gray. Shane Gray's package was no match for the young 18 year old.
"He (Tanner Gray) is a tough competitor and it was a great race,” Shane Gray said.
Semi finals of the Thunder Valley Nationals featured Tanner Gray versus Alex Laughlin, who is running a limited schedule due to funding. The race was over at the starting line when Tanner Gray would prematurely leave by -.001 seconds giving the win light to Laughlin.
“Well that’s not how I wanted to end the day," The Youngest Gray said. "I thought I nailed the tree, and unfortunately I was too early.”
The Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team will continue the pursuit of the 2017 Mello Yello Championship this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk Ohio June 23-25, 2017.
2017 9th 8 1 0 1 5 1 0 0 11-7
Best Time, Speed: 6.484 seconds, (2014 Reading); 214.45 mph (2014 Englishtown)
Last event (June 16-18, Bristol): Qualified No. 10, Quarter Finals (Tanner Gray)