HICKORY, N.C. – The latest member of the famous Gray racing family made his stock car debut on Saturday night at North Carolina’s historic Hickory Motor Speedway.
Taylor Gray, the 12-year-old son of NHRA Pro Stock racer Shane Gray, the brother of Gatornationals Pro Stock winner Tanner Gray and grandson of NHRA Funny Car race winner Johnny Gray, earned a sixth-place finish in the 50-lap limited late model feature Saturday night at Hickory driving for Lee Faulk Racing and Development.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting to finish sixth in my first race with the competition that was there,” said Gray, who had previously only raced Outlaw Karts on dirt. “I am with a great team and they know what they are doing and it really showed on Saturday night.”
After previously testing with Lee Faulk Racing and Development, the youngest Gray was ready to race on Saturday at Hickory. However, things took an unfortunate turn when he spun his No. 15G limited late model during practice early in the day, bending the rear clip in the process.
Despite the damage the team decided to prepare the car for qualifying and the race so Gray could get track time. Gray repaid the hard work by the Faulk team by qualifying sixth in the 19-car field.
Gray followed up his qualifying effort by racing in the top-five throughout the 50-lap limited late model feature. When the checkered flag waved Gray was scored in seventh, but later was advanced to sixth because of a disqualification to initial race winner Tyler Gregory.
“It was amazing how well the car felt even with the rear clip being bent,” said Gray. “The biggest difference between the big car and the Outlaw Karts I’ve driven before is that I need to pay a lot more attention to how the car handles so I can give proper feedback. Once I get the hang of that I think we’ll really be able to show what we can do.”
Lee Faulk Racing and Development’s Michael Faulk couldn’t help but be impressed by Gray’s result on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“Taylor has shown he is a great talent at such a young age,” said Faulk. “We look forward to a long lasting relationship with Taylor and the Gray family. This is just the beginning.”
With a sixth-place finish in his first race serving as motivation, Gray believes he’ll be finding victory lane much sooner than later.
“With the group of guys I have behind me, I expect to be in victory lane at least once or twice this year,” Gray said. “Winning is always the goal and I know we can do it.”