Gray Motorsports press release
Tire Kingdom Gatornationals provide important data for Shane Gray and team
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 11, 2012) – Pro Stock driver Shane Gray was aiming to impress at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals this weekend. He and his Gray Motorsports team spent long days that stretched into nights in the shop back home fine-tuning equipment, and they tested at a nearby Florida facility in their Tire Kingdom/Service Central Pontiac GXP with the hopes of making their sponsor very proud at their title event.
On the first day of qualifying, the team posted a 6.597 at 208.65 mph, and they improved to a 6.544, 210.31 on Saturday to earn a position in a very quick Pro Stock field.
They certainly wanted to go father in the Tire Kingdom/Service Central GXP on raceday, and they brought everything they had to the table with fierce intent. Unfortunately, progress was halted in the first round of eliminations as veteran driver Mike Edwards got ahead of them and turned on the win light with a 6.535, 211.03 mph to 6.569, 209.65. Gray and company are extracting the positive from the experience with the resolve to build upon it.
"The run was pretty decent today," said Gray. "We're on the right track, but we're going to stay and test so we can do better in the future. I wanted to do better here for our great sponsors, Tire Kingdom and Service Central, but all we can do is look ahead, not back. We're going to get right back to work and come back stronger for them and all of our fans in the future.
"It was a special deal to get to see so many of our friends here – this is so close to the Service Central headquarters – and that is always the best thing about racing in Gainesville. This is a home race for them, and to get to come out and spend time with everybody, it's just neat. We're so grateful to be associated with the Service Central group."
Crew chief Justin Elkes explained that although disappointed, the abbreviated day wasn't completely disheartening because the first-round pass provided helpful information.
"Like Shane said, all-in-all, it really wasn't a bad run. We were quicker to the 60-foot timer by .004-second and then identical to Mike at the 330-foot mark, so we know exactly where we need to focus," detailed Elkes. "We wanted to do more for the folks at Tire Kingdom/Service Central. We made changes after qualifying to try to gain more performance over what we had shown at this track so far, but unfortunately, it just didn't respond the way we wanted it to. There was a lot of good that we learned from this weekend though, and our plan is to expand on that."