NTB Service Central Racing driver Shane Gray returns to facility where Pro Stock dream began
DENVER, NC – Second-generation drag racer Shane Gray was destined to follow in the footsteps of his father, veteran NHRA driver Johnny Gray, but it wasn't until 2008 that he actually saw the dream becoming a reality. That was the year that he first drove a Pro Stock-style racecar, and it happened at what is now known as Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
This weekend, Gray returns to the facility that holds such lasting memories to compete in the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in his NTB/Service Central Racing Pontiac GXP.
"I love going back to St. Louis," said Gray. "It brings me back to my roots, to those days when all of this was just a dream. I remember our friend V. Gaines sold us that first B/A car that we tested in before I ran Comp Eliminator, and I have to throw out a big thank you to him for that, because it got all this started. It's a pretty neat deal that I'm out here racing against him now, and I'm sure grateful for his role there in the beginning."
This will be the first time that the Full Throttle Series tour has stopped in St. Louis since 2010, Gray's rookie season of driving in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category.
"I was nervous the first time I got in a car there, for sure," recalled Gray. "But really, I was more excited than anything. I got a taste of what it might be like, and that taste made me hungry for more. It will be a lot different when I pull into the waterbox there this weekend – I'll be just as excited, but those nervous butterflies of going down the track in a car like this for the first time are long gone."
Gray and his Gray Motorsports team will be testing the NTB/Service Central GXP just prior to taking off for Gateway Motorsports Park and will continue their plan of attack as the 2012 season winds down. With just four races left, Gray and his cohorts are chipping away at refining their program in preparation for an exceptional 2013.
The ever-persistent team has experienced a trying year that has included far fewer round wins than expected and a harrowing crash at the recent event in Charlotte from which Gray emerged uninjured but his new Chevy Camaro was damaged beyond repair.
"We have high hopes of getting things turned around here for us and for Service Central," said Gray. "We've got four races to go this year, and I'm looking at them as an opportunity. We'll start by going to St. Louis and seeing what progress we can make."