Reading: Johnny Gray preview

Johnny Gray takes Wonder Wagon to Maple Grove READING, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2004) - Johnny Gray is ready for Reading and his steed, Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon, is all spruced up for the horse race this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. The...

Johnny Gray takes Wonder Wagon to Maple Grove

READING, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2004) - Johnny Gray is ready for Reading and his steed, Don Schumacher's Wonder Wagon, is all spruced up for the horse race this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. The research-and-development Dodge Stratus Funny Car out of Don Schumacher Racing's stable has gone through some major modifications since the U.S. Nationals, where Gray qualified No. 8 in his first outing in the car that sports the original design of the car Schumacher drove in 1973. And crew chief Dan Olson is set to test these changes this weekend.

"The boys have made a bunch of changes in the car," said Gray, "and they're going to try some new stuff with it this weekend. They told me to hang on, this thing ought to be fast.

"I like to run Maple Grove Raceway. Hurricane Ivan might disrupt the weather here this weekend, but if we get any runs in, they will be extremely fast. I think the track conditions are going to be cool. It's going to be cloudy. And with all the trees here, nature will give us some really good air. The oxygen content is real high so that makes the engines very happy. We can produce some really good numbers here."

With only five races remaining and in only his second race for the Don Schumacher Racing team, Gray has serious goals nonetheless. "I'd really like to win a race before the season is over," he said, "and hopefully the team can learn some stuff off of my car that they can take forward to next year and be ready to go after the championship right at the start of the season."

Gray entered the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car class in 1999 and has scored three runner-up finishes in three final rounds. He has not won a Funny Car event, and has a 38-59 round win-loss record. Notably, he was runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Nationals. His career fastest speed is 321.42 mph (Topeka 2003) and quickest elapsed time is 4.813 seconds (Pomona 1 2003).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Johnny Gray , Don Schumacher