Tanner Gray’s Transition from Straight Line to Oval Track Racing

Tanner Gray turned the quickest lap during two practice sessions for the WhosYourDriver.org twin 100s at South Boston Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Photo – Matt Thacker/NKP

Coming to stock car racing from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing circuit would seem a difficult transition but so far NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Tanner Gray is making it look easy. 

In four starts this season in the No. 15 DGR-Crosley Valvoline/Durst Toyota, Gray has already earned two top-fives and three top-tens along with one pole position.  That ranks him fourth in the points standings just 14 markers behind the leader.  While the win at South Boston Speedway in the first of two races gave him confidence, Tanner is still learning and looking for more consistency at being up front.

“There’s definitely a lot of stuff that I have to learn and that I have to get better at,” says Gray.  “All in all, its been good, its been fun, its been challenging. The win definitely gives you a confidence booster for sure but I mean its just about going out and doing it again and again and again.  And that’s what we’re working toward every weekend.” 

During final practice for today’s Memphis 150 Presented by AutoZone at Memphis International Raceway (MIR), Gray ranked sixth on the timing chart, just a little over one-tenth of a second off the top spot.  He knows the focus needs to be on managing his car and tires over the course of the event as MIR is an old worn out track that is known to be rough on equipment, specifically tires.

“South Boston had quite a bit of grip and this place doesn’t,” says Gray. “Definitely going have to manage here.  I mean the hardest part probably is just managing and putting a race together, being there at the end.  I feel like I’ve had speed pretty much everywhere we went. Just haven’t done a good job of putting everything together and saving ourselves there for the end.  I think that’s definitely been the most challenging thing for me and I just need to keep getting better at it.”

Fortunately Tanner Gray has the experience of team owner David Gilliland to lean on to help coach and guide him as he continues to develop behind the wheel.  Come out to the track to watch Gray’s effort in the Memphis 150 presented by AutoZone Green Flag scheduled to go green at approximately 6 pm CDT. Also FansChoice.TV will have live streaming coverage available.

Come on...we know you have something to say.....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.