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NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Takes The Pole at The Carolina Nationals
NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Takes The Pole at The Carolina Nationals
September 16, 2017
NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Takes The Pole at
The Carolina Nationals
Concord, NC (September 16, 2017) – The countdown to the 2017 Mello Yello Pro Stock Championship started Friday with qualifying at the 10th Annual Carolina Nationals at Zmax Dragway. For NHRA Rookie Tanner Gray, he would take advantage of all opportunities to capture qualifying bonus points that would add to his championship chase.
Currently, Gray sits 2nd in the countdown race to Pro Stock points leader Bo Butner.
“Every point towards the championship is crucial," the 18 year old said. "We have a pretty good thing going this weekend by collecting qualifying bonus points and we want to continue that momentum into race day tomorrow.”
Tanner Gray would set low ET of the entire weekend during qualifying round 1 Friday night with a pass of 6.559 seconds at 210.50 mph. He continued to impress during the second round of qualifying by backing up his pass by being the quickest of that round as well, again showing why the rookie is the one to beat. A total of 6 championship points were generated from the two qualifying sessions Friday.
“My Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevy Camaro is running really great," Gray said. "I am so proud of my guys and am thankful for the equipment that they give me. They make me look good as a driver.”
Tanner would head in to Saturday's qualifying sessions on the pole and look to stay there come the end of day.
Saturday afternoon temperatures would rise causing the naturally aspirated pro stock cars to slow in comparison to the Friday efforts, keeping the Gray Motorsports car in the top spot. During the third qualifying round, TG15 would run 2nd low ET of the round and collect 2 qualifying bonus points.
Temperatures continued to rise for the late Saturday afternoon Q4 session. Tanner Gray would put up another consistent pass and hold on to the number one spot overall.
“It’s all business when it comes down to the countdown," the number one qualifier said. "We believe that our Gray Motorsports team has a really great shot at winning this championship and we are not going to take it lightly.”
Tanner Gray will face Val Smeland first round Sunday afternoon.
Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Sept. 17. All times are local and are subject to change.
The broadcast of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series can be found on FS1. Sunday, Sept. 17 during three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET). 
Statistic Junkie
Tanner Gray
            Pts    Events   Wins   R/U  Semi   Qtr.  1st rd.   Poles    DNQ   W/L
2017    2nd        18         4         1         7       4                 4           0      36-14
Best Time, Speed: 6.501 seconds, (2017 NHRA New England Nationals); 213.37 mph (Gatornationals 2017) Last event (August 31- September 4, Indianapolis): Qualified No. 2, Semi Finals (Drew Skillman)
Pro Stock Car 
1. Bo Butner          2100 -----
2. Tanner Gray     2080 -20
3. Greg Anderson  2070 -30
4. Drew Skillman  2060 -40
5Jason Line         2050 -50
6. Erica Enders      2040 -60 
7. Jeg Coughlin Jr  2030 -70
8. Vincent Nobile    2020 -80
9. Allen Johnson    2010 -90
10. Chris McGaha  2000 -100
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.