Don Schumacher Racing
JOHNNY GRAY HUNTS FOR COUNTDOWN SPOT AT 30TH-ANNUAL LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 15, 2011 – Johnny Gray, aboard his Service Central Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, continues his pursuit of a spot in the upcoming Countdown to 1 playoffs this weekend here at the 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Holding in 11th place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle standings, the 58-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver sits 95 points, less than five race-round wins, behind the 10th and final playoff qualifier Bob Tasca III.
“We still have a mathematical chance to get into the Countdown and, considering, how much we’ve improved, I think we have a good shot to get there,” said the Artesia, N.M. native. “Rob Wendland has done a great job since taking over as crew chief and is really getting the Service Central car to respond. We’ve had great support from the folks at Service Central, Don and the rest of the DSR organization; we’re just hoping to give it back with some good races.
“We’re just going to try and go rounds, maybe shake up some of the standings and have some fun, not just this weekend, but for the rest of the season.”
Gray, who returned to the cockpit of a Funny Car this season after a five-year hiatus, hopes to replay last year’s Brainerd experience. Then driving a Pro Stock car, he qualified second and went to the semifinals where he lost to his son Shane.
“I enjoy it out here,” Gray said. “I’ve done well in Brainerd before and think I can do it again this year. It’s all good.”