DENVER, NC (July 27, 2017) – Leading Rookie of The Year Candidate Tanner Gray makes his way to the second of three stops on the western swing at the 30th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals located in Sonoma, CA. This will be his first time racing at Sonoma Raceway as he continues to pursue the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship.
“Each race is just as critical as the last,” The 18 year old two-time national event winner said. “We are in pursuit of every point that we can get.”
Young Gray has been to 3 final rounds this season, won 2 and is currently 3rd in points. He is looking to clench a spot in the countdown this weekend behind already secured point’s leader Bo Butner, and Greg Anderson.
“My team has coached me throughout the season on how to become a better driver and I have also learned from my mistakes,” Gray said. “The pressure to perform is increasing as we head closer to the countdown. My Papa Johnny (Gray) and Dad (Shane Gray) are great teachers of how to deal with this pressure because of the combined years of experience racing toward a spot in the countdown.”
Tanner Gray is feels confident that his team has what it takes to perform this weekend in Sonoma after coming off of a first round loss in Denver last weekend.
“My crew chief Dave Connolly obtains the skill to race anywhere,” the teen phenom said. “I am confident that the drastic change in racing conditions from Denver to Sonoma will not affect our performance because of the experience we have on our side. Racing the Western Swing for the first time, I have already learned that this far into the season, both the car and the driver need to align. I am very fortunate and blessed to have the guys back at Gray Motorsports that are continually searching for ways to create more power so that my Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro has the capability to be the fastest car at the track.”
Gray Motorsports teammate Drew Skillman has won the last two national events win Gray power under the hood and a dominate performance off of the starting line.
The NHRA Sonoma Nationals will feature two rounds of pro qualifying at 4:15 and 7 p.m. on Friday, July 28, and two final rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 29, at 1:10 and 4:20 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 30. The event that will be televised on FS1, including live final eliminations coverage starting at 1:30 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, July 30. It marks the 15th of 24 events in 2017 and the second of three stops on the NHRA Western Swing. All times listed are local and are subject to change.
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr. 1st rd. Poles DNQ W/L
2017 3rd 14 2 1 5 4 2 1 0 24-12
Best Time, Speed: 6.501 seconds, (2017 NHRA New England Nationals); 213.37 mph (Gatornationals 2017)
Last event (July 21-23, Denver): Qualified No. 10, First Round (Jason Line)
Pro Stock Car
1. Bo Butner 1240 -----
2. Greg Anderson 1066 -174
3. Tanner Gray 976 -264
4. Jeg Coughlin Jr 931 -309
5. Jason Line 888 -352
6. Erica Enders 863 -377
7.Drew Skillman 823 -417
8. Vincent Nobile 781 -459
9. Chris McGaha 540 -700
10. Allen Johnson 514 -726
Tanner Gray, at the age of 17 years old, won his first NHRA Pro Stock national event on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This accomplishment made Tanner Gray the youngest driver ever to win a NHRA professional event. He has since had a birthday, April 15, and is currently 18 years old.