DENVER, NC (September 21, 2017) – Coming off of a Mello Yello Pro Stock Countdown Event victory this past weekend, rookie Tanner Gray is looking to continue his winning ways at the 33rd Annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
This will mark the 20th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule and the second of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship standings.
The 18 year old Gray is currently number one in the countdown to the championship, holding a 25 point advantage on former points leader Bo Butner.
“Coming off of the win in Charlotte and getting thru the first race of the countdown in the number one position is the best scenario for our Gray Motorsports team," Tanner said. "Leaving #1 in the points puts our team in the driver’s seat heading into Reading this weekend. We hope to stretch the lead by earning qualifying points and round wins at Maple Grove.”
Even though this will be his first time competing at Maple Grove Raceway, he has experience on his side. Gray Motorsports crew chief Dave Connolly has won this event twice, once in 2007 over Kurt Johnson and then again in 2010 over Greg Anderson.
"I enjoy going to tracks that I haven't raced before. It gives Dave (Connolly) a fresh perspective on the track as I start making qualifying runs," Gray said. "We normally don't talk about the conditions and Dave's past experience at the tracks we go to. But, I know it helps him tune the car and gives us a leg up on the competition."
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 1:45 and 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The broadcast of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series can be found all weekend long on FS1. Friday, Sept. 22, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 2:30 p.m. (ET). Sunday, Sept. 23, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 1:30 a.m. (ET). And Sunday, Sept. 23, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET).