SONOMA, CA (July 29, 2017) – Qualifying at the 30th Annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals for Pro Stock Rookie Driver Tanner Gray was met with team experience and rookie spunk.
Q1 Friday afternoon faced traditional Northern California weather. Sunny with a light breeze and perfect conditions for optimal pro stock runs. The Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team would run an ET of 6.573 seconds at 210.08 mph, ultimately good enough to provisionally qualify 4th.
“My Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team has been working hard to make more power and give me a race car that can win rounds come race day,” Tanner Gray said. “We are trying to find a rhythm and have struggled lately to find the same driver to car pace.”
Q2 would see similar conditions, but at a slighter cooler temperature. This would be an opportunity for Tanner Gray and his team to capitalize and leverage a better qualifying position. With an ET of 6.681 seconds at 209.72 mph, it wouldn’t be enough to improve qualifying position, leaving the team qualified fifth come end of the day Friday.
“We made two solid passes this afternoon which gives me the confidence leading into Saturday’s qualifying,” the 18 year old rookie said. “I know we have the power under the hood, now it’s just time to put the entire package together.”
Saturday would encompass two new opportunities to setup an ideal eliminations pairing for Sunday’s race day.
During Q3 Saturday afternoon, Tanner Gray and the Gray Motorsports team would be first out. During this particular run Tanner Gray shook the tires acquiring the number six position. The team would regroup and prepare for Q4.
“I come out to the race track to win every weekend. Smoking the tires is just a part of it. We are trying the best that we can to be the quickest that we can, and I have all of the confidence in Dave (Connolly) to get us where would should be.”
Q4 would shine light on the Gray Motorsports team. With an ET of 6.570 seconds at 211.20 mph, this would be the best run for the team of the weekend and the 3rd best of the session leaving young Tanner Gray to compete from the 5th qualifying position on Sunday.
“Pro Stock is the most competitive class.,” Tanner Gray said. “We are fighting for ten thousandths of a second. That is what makes it so engaging as a driver. I am competitive and enjoy the challenge.”
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. All times listed are local and are subject to change.