KENT, WA (August 6, 2017) – Race day at the 30th Annual NHRA Northwest Nationals would be Rookie Tanner Gray’s opportunity to capture points toward the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship in front of a packed crowd at Pacific Raceways.
Coming off of a strong qualifying performance, the rookie started from the pole position giving him a bye in the first round that would carry him straight to the quarterfinals.
During the bye round, Tanner Gray’s Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro posted an impressive run of 6.561 seconds at 209.79 mph. This pass would be the low ET of the round (and event) setting up the 18 year old with lane choice over his round two opponent.
“I can’t say enough about my guys over in our Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro pit,” Tanner Gray said. “We have a great thing going. Our guys are doing a heck of a job and I am just glad to have them.”
The second round matchup would feature Tanner Gray verse veteran pro stock driver Allen Johnson. Gray was out of the gate first and had the power to hold and get the win over Johnson with an ET of 6.584 seconds at 209.14 mph. Again, this would also be low ET of the round.
“It is no question that we have the car to beat today,” Tanner Gray said. “My Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevy Camaro has been right where we’ve wanted it and I feel confident heading into the semi’s.”
This round win would set up a semi round matchup between Tanner Gray and Texas native Erica Enders-Stevens. The race would end right off of the starting line as Gray was a bit early and turned on the red light.
“I just missed the tree today,” Gray said. “I can’t thank my team enough for giving me a great race car. I’ve said before that the car alone can’t win races. I have to perform on the starting line.”
The Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team will have next weekend off and then continue the pursuit of the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship in Brainerd, Minnesota at Brainerd International Raceway August 18-20, 2017.
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr. 1st rd. Poles DNQ W/L
2017 3rd 16 3 1 6 4 2 2 0 30-13
Best Time, Speed: 6.501 seconds, (2017 NHRA New England Nationals); 213.37 mph (Gatornationals 2017)
Last event (August 4-6, Seattle): Qualified No. 1, Semi Finals (Erica Enders-Stevens)
Pro Stock Car
1. Bo Butner 1423 -----
2. Greg Anderson 1183 -240
3. Tanner Gray 1174 -249
4. Jason Line 1045 -378
5. Drew Skillman 1035 -388
6. Erica Enders 991 -423
7. Jeg Coughlin Jr 974 -449
8. Vincent Nobile 867 -556
9. Chris McGaha 645 -778
10. Allen Johnson 600 -823
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.