Don Schumacher Racing press release
SPOILER JOHNNY GRAY COMES OUT OF SECOND-STARTING SPOT FOR SUNDAY’S AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS
ENNIS, TEXAS, September 24, 2011 – Service Central/NTB-National Tire and Battery® Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Johnny Gray looks to continue playing “the spoiler” in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship as he comes out of the second-starting spot for Sunday’s AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals here at the Texas Motorplex.
The 58-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver will have to get by 15th-qualifier Paul Lee in the opening round of final eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m. CDT, before he will face any Countdown drivers.
“We’ve been putting the Funny Car field on notice for the last several races that this Service Central hot rod is one to be reckoned with,” said the Artesia, N.M. native. “We got down the track all four times in qualifying under horrific conditions, so our number two was no fluke!
“Ever since Rob Wendland took over and was joined by Dickie Venables (co-crew chiefs) this has been one of the better cars in the class – and we intend to carry this through the remainder of the season and right into next year. I don’t think anyone in the Countdown wants to see us in the opposite lane right now.”
Gray banked a 4.141-second lap at 303.78 miles per hour in Friday’s second session to take the two spot. Earlier that day he posted a 4.231 at 279.21 mph and completed his qualifying effort in today’s baking heat with solid runs of 4.394 at 221.24 mph and 4.254 at 293.92 mph.
“It’s all good and a lot of fun,” Gray said. “I'm just looking forward to getting into the car Sunday and doing some damage!”