Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Johnny Gray and NTB Service Central Funny Car team journey to Bristol Dragway fueled up to double up
Funny Car pilot Johnny Gray and the NTB/Service Central Racing team were flying high when they left the most recent event on NHRA's Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tour. A rejuvenated program, Gray's skilled navigation of the Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, and mindful application of lessons learned by crew chiefs Rob Wendland and Rip Reynolds paved the way to the winner's circle in Englishtown. For Gray, it was the second nitro Funny Car victory of his career, and one that was extremely rewarding with nearly all of his immediate family in tow.
Gray will have the opportunity to extend his round-win streak and gain more valuable points towards a secured position in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs this weekend at the 15th annual Ford Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the 10th stop on the circuit.
"You know, it was great to get that win," said Gray. "But that was then and this is now, and this NTB/Service Central team has shifted gears and is focusing on what it will take to repeat. I can tell you that we are all very focused on taking everything that we've learned so far and building on it in Bristol.
"I feel just as confident as anyone out there right now. There is no reason we can't get two in a row. My car is running as well as anybody's, and I think my team is better than anyone's. There is absolutely no reason in the world that we can't turn around, go right to Bristol and double up."
Artesia, N.M.-based Gray will celebrate Father's Day weekend with his children in Bristol - eldest son Shane Gray, formerly a Pontiac pilot, will debut the NTB/Service Central Chevy Camaro in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class, and younger son Jonathan Gray will compete in the Lucas Oil Series driving the Service Central Pontiac GTO in Competition Eliminator.
"It's such a special weekend, and you always hope that you can make it even more special," said Gray. "It would be great to win a race with both kids there, but really, just being with the family on Father's Day is such a blessing. It's so much more than so many other families have, and if all that happens is I get to spend the weekend with my kids, well so be it. It's going to be a great time no matter what."