Joliet II: Johnny Gray Saturday summary

Johnny Gray Drives Wonder Wagon to No. 13 in Rte. 66 Qualifying JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2004) - Johnny Gray drove Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon Dodge Stratus into the No. 13 spot in qualifying for tomorrow's final eliminations at the CARQUEST...

Johnny Gray Drives Wonder Wagon to No. 13 in Rte. 66 Qualifying

JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2004) - Johnny Gray drove Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon Dodge Stratus into the No. 13 spot in qualifying for tomorrow's final eliminations at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

It wasn't an easy weekend for Gray and the Wonder Wagon team, as one round of qualifying was rained out and track conditions today were outstanding. Crew chief Dan Olson knew they had to step it up in today's final session after qualifying out of the field, in 17th, earlier today with a 5.045/305.63.

Their efforts worked, as Gray piloted the Wonder Wagon down Route 66 Raceway's quarter-mile in 4.850 seconds at 317.34 mph and into No. 13.

"We got in," he said. "We struggled all weekend. We had an ignition problem in one of our runs. It kind of got us behind the 8-ball. We changed all the ignition out and figured out what was wrong with it. We made what we considered to be a conservative run in the last session. And Dan says he knows what we need to do step the thing up tomorrow.

"We feel real confident going into tomorrow. We'll be ready for them in round one."

As was everyone else in the stands and in the pits, Gray was impressed with John Force's No. 1 qualifying run of 4.697-seconds at 332.75 mph. "There's nothing that you can really say about John Force except that it's John Force Racing," he said. "They've got quite a program, and when he gets on a roll like this, you just can't do anything with it.

"I know how (multi-team owner) Don Schumacher is and all the guys on all of his teams and I know how dedicated and determined they are. They will step up, find out what he's done, and they'll surpass him and get right back ahead of him."

Gray faces Cruz Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday, which begin a 11 a.m.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Johnny Gray , Don Schumacher