GAINESVILLE, Fla. — official team release — Gray Motorsports photo —
Pro Stock driver Shane Gray and his veteran crew have been “testing the wheels off” their sleek Valvoline/Nova Services Chevrolet Camaro since the season-opening NHRA Winternationals, and the team is more than ready to have a big showing this weekend at Gainesville Raceway for the 47th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
“The guys have done a fantastic job of straightening this car out and matching the power the engines are making with the new electronic fuel injection setup,” Gray said. “By the last test session, we were right there with the top cars in the class, so we’re very pleased and optimistic about our chances.”
After a sluggish start to the season in Pomona, Gray and crew made the unusual decision to skip the second race of the year in Phoenix to go over their race car from front to back. Like most teams in the class, Gray Motorsports had some challenges adapting to the newly mandated EFI configuration, as well as the RPM limitations and shorter wheelie-bar length instilled by NHRA.
“I’m not out here to run up and down the track and just go through the motions,” Gray said. “If we don’t have a legit chance to win the race, we’re going to stop what we’re doing and work our tails off until we’re ready to challenge for the win every time.”
“Skipping Phoenix made sense for us. Sure we could have gone out there and qualified and gained a few points, but if you look at the big picture, it was smarter to come home and work on the car. I believe our testing results confirm we made the right decision.”
Gray has accumulated four victories in 12 final-round showings in his 141 NHRA starts.
“We’d love to add a Gainesville win to our résumé,” Gray said. “It’s a big race, the first one of the season on the East Coast, and it’s not too far down the road from our home in Charlotte, so it’s a comfortable place for us to go.”
“I know the guys are anxious to get back out there and have a good showing. It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out. We’re certainly optimistic after testing, but testing and a real race are two different things. You can gauge yourself against the other teams testing, but you really have no idea what they’re doing. We tend to focus on our program and just keep our heads down.”
“We’ll be alright. I’m excited to get down to Florida.”
CREDIT: Geiger Media Global