Heartland Park Topeka
CONSISTENT GRAY QUALIFIES SECOND IN TOPEKA FOR NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Johnny Gray, driving the Service Central Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, qualified second for Sunday’s 23rd annual NHRA Summer Nationals here at Heartland Park Topeka.
Gray posted his best run during Friday night’s qualifying session with a 4.058-second elapsed time at 307.23 mph. He just missed the pole, which went to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman with an ET of 4.054.
The qualifying performance equaled Gray’s best starting position of the season -- he also qualified in the No. 2 spot at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
“First mission accomplished -- we made four nice passes,” said the 58-year-old Artesia, N.M. native and resident. “The Service Central Dodge is humming and we’re as ready as ever for eliminations. Lee, (Beard, crew chief) has done a great job tuning the car.”
Gray was most encouraged about posting the quickest run in Saturday’s final qualifying session of 4.134 at 303.91.
“The air and track conditions for eliminations will be more similar to this afternoon than last night,” explained Gray. “We have good data and are feeling really good right now, knowing the potential that we have.”
Gray’s first-round opponent will be No. 15th qualifier Paul Lee, whose best run was 4.421 at 226.81.