Shane Gray maintaining focus on strong finish in Big O Tires Pontiac
DENVER, NC – Shane Gray is always eager to settle in behind the wheel of his racecar, and this weekend at the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the second-generation driver will be saddling up for a steady charge to the season's finish line in his Pontiac GXP at his sponsor's title event.
Gray, of Denver, N.C., will make the trek out West with young son Taylor – a drag racer in the making with a start in the Jr. Drag Racing League slated for next year – by his side.
"We always look forward to heading out there to Vegas, and it's a lot of fun when the whole family gets to join us, but this time it'll just be me and Taylor," said Gray. "We'll be representing the family, and we'll be working hard to make them, Big O Tires, and Service Central proud. Taylor is always a big help around camp, and hopefully he's learning something he can use later."
Gray will race his Big O Tires Pontiac GXP in the Pro Stock category while his father, Johnny Gray, drives the Big O Tires Funny Car. Both drivers will attend the Big O Tires autograph session at The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas on Thursday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
"That's going to be a great time," said Gray. "The Vegas fans are a lot of fun, and boy, there are sure a bunch of them who always come out to see us. Everything about Las Vegas is just a blast. There is plenty to do and see, but really the best part is racing our Big O Tires Service Central GXP at the facility. They always make you feel special there, and the track itself is so different from anywhere else we race."
The latter part of the season has been a testing period for Gray and his Gray Motorsports team as they prepare for a stronger showing in 2013 and aim for round wins and great performances for sponsor Service Central along the way. Although he did not make the Countdown to the Championship for the first time in his young career as a professional racecar driver, Gray sees no reason to back down and in fact will arrive in Las Vegas with yet another recent test session in the books.
"We stopped in Rockingham last week and tested the car, and it went pretty decent," he said. "We are still learning a lot of things, and that's always good. You don't ever want to stop learning – and this sport sure keeps that hunger for knowledge fed. We've got a total new combination, so we'll see if we can apply some of what we've learned this weekend."