Thursday, June 28, 2012
Shane Gray laying groundwork for favorable future in NTB Service Central Camaro
The first step is always the most difficult, but two weeks ago at Bristol Dragway, Pro Stock driver Shane Gray rose to the challenge and debuted the much-talked about NTB/Service Central Chevy Camaro. In their first outing with the brand new car, the Gray Motorsports team earned a qualifying position and a raceday start. This weekend, at the 15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals held just outside Chicago at Joliet’s Route 66 Raceway, Gray and company will be adding a few more bricks to the structure that promises a very bright future.
Second-generation driver Gray is pleased with the direction of the program, especially with so few runs on their new car. Of course, they had hoped to go a few more rounds and qualify a bit higher at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, and with that thought in mind the team followed what has become a normal routine and headed right back out for a test session the week after the event. They were pleasantly surprised to be one of the top performing cars on site.
“Well, we tested well – but we always do well when we test,” said Gray. “Since then, we’ve been working away at the shop, and we will continue to dig. What we need to be able to do is race a little bit better, and that is our goal.
“I’m not the type of guy to get really excited, but I am most certainly optimistic about the future of this team and the NTB/Service Central Camaro. We see a glimmer out there on the horizon, and we’re going after it.”
The highlight of the 2012 season thus far was a semifinals performance at the Topeka Summernationals, and Gray would like to go one or two steps further at Route 66 Raceway, where he was the No. 4 qualifier and finished in the semifinals last year. Currently ninth in the Full Throttle Series standings, the driver who has finished in the top 10 in each of his first two years as a professional Pro Stock competitor is seeking valuable points at the Chicago-area event to further solidify his berth and earn a chance at racing for the championship.
“It’s difficult for me to compare last year to this year, but we have done well there in Joliet in the past,” said Gray. “We have a different car and a different engine combination; everything is different now, but we’re going to see if we can use all that we have available to use and make more progress toward our goals.”