Indianapolis: Johnny Gray Saturday summary

Gray No. 8 in Wonder Wagon after two days at U.S. Nationals INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4, 2004) - Johnny Gray impressed the crowd in his first jaunt in Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon Funny Car in last night's qualifying session, when he cruised down the...

Gray No. 8 in Wonder Wagon after two days at U.S. Nationals

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4, 2004) - Johnny Gray impressed the crowd in his first jaunt in Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon Funny Car in last night's qualifying session, when he cruised down the quarter-mile to a 4.862-second pass at 305.98 mph.

This run held up for No. 1 through six pairs until Cruz Pedregon produced a 4.844/315.93, which Gary Densham then surpassed with a 4.795/320.28 for No. 1 after one round.

Under steamy conditions in today's second round of qualifying the Wonder Wagon smoked the tires dramatically at the hit of the throttle, then coasted to a full stop to nearly half-track for an aborted run.

In tonight's round it smoked the tires at about 200 feet, and Gray coasted to a 9.439/93.41 pass, relegating him to No. 8 in the field, with two more qualifying sessions scheduled for tomorrow.

"I feel great," said last year's U.S. Nationals Funny Car runner-up. "The car ran real good yesterday and we had a little bit of a malfunction in the first round today.

"We went out just a little too aggressive tonight. I'm not discouraged at all. Tomorrow is when we're going to have to get a race-day setup in the car. Tonight was just for bragging rights. John Force ran a 4.749 (for the pole), but he's not going to run a .74 tomorrow in the heat.

"I've got all the faith in the world that Dan (Olson, crew chief) and the team can make this thing be fully competitive in the heat and if they can do that we can go out and go some rounds."

As for the attention the Wonder Wagon is getting this weekend: "The fans love the Wonder Wagon," he remarked. "Don did great when he brought that car out. It's just amazing. I had several people come by with old magazine articles with the Wonder Wagon in it and wanted me to sign them. I had one guy come by today who had one of the old die-casts and it had been signed by Don, and he had me sign it. That was an honor. It's a fun deal. Everybody tells me how neat the car is and the fans really like it. I like it."

-dsr-

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