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POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 2) — The magic of a late-season victory in Las Vegas proved too strong for pro Shane Gray to ignore with the Gray Motorsports pilot electing to drive a second car alongside his son Tanner at NHRA national events in Pomona and Phoenix.
Shane turned the group’s primary car over to Tanner after the 2016 season, which ended well with Shane’s fifth professional title at the penultimate race at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His focus since then has been on preparing 17-year-old Tanner for action in the cutthroat Pro Stock category. But with a back-up car on the rig, Shane decided it may be beneficial to drive it at a few events.
Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
“Having a second car will give us twice as much data every round and that will only help Dave (Connolly, crew chief) and the guys prepare Tanner’s car,” Shane said. “We’ve all seen how well the multi-car teams perform and we’ve enjoyed the same advantages with teammates like Drew Skillman and Alex Laughlin.
“I really enjoy driving these cars. They’re a lot of fun and the competition at this level is really tough so doing well is a great reward. The focus is on Tanner and his rookie year, so my role is strictly as a support driver, coach and manager. I just get to have a little fun on the side.”
In 163 professional starts, Shane has five victories, eight runner-up finishes, and 31 semifinal runs. His race day record of 156-155 places him in an elite group of drivers who have won more rounds than they have lost.
Gray Motorsports is owned by Shane’s parents, Johnny and Terry Gray. Johnny raced Pro Stock and Funny Car in the past, with numerous victories to his credit.
“It’s been a really neat deal to race with my mom and dad’s support and to be able to share our love of drag racing,” Shane said. “Now we have another generation taking to the sport, and I know Dad is super excited about having Tanner out here. It’s going to be a great year.”
Credit: Geiger Media Global