Pro Modified rookie J.R. Gray, a standout grudge racing superstar with driving experience well beyond his first-year NHRA status, was uninjured in a high-speed crash during Saturday evening’s final session of qualifying at the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver. Gray, driving the Gray Contracting-backed supercharged Camaro owned by Mike Janis, was attempting to produce his first representative run of the weekend — he was ninth of the just nine cars that made the long trip to Denver with a best run to his credit of 8.72-seconds — when the car drifted near the centerline and took a hard turn into the wall. The impact spun Gray around and turned the Camaro onto it roof, where it slid to a stop in the shutdown area with heavy damage on virtually all four corners and its roof.
Gray climbed from the battered machine under his own power and was checked out by the NHRA Safety Safari.
“I had a bad crash last night,” Gray said. “We had been fighting the car all weekend and I overdrove the car trying to make it to the finish line. I’m sorry for letting my team down in this way but I will do whatever it takes to get us back to the next NHRA Pro Mod race. I’m okay, just hurt my pride a little. Experience only comes in one way as a driver.”
Added Janis: “Very tough day yesterday at Denver. Thank you God J.R. Gray is okay. Wally Stroupe and SRC Motorsports Inc. built a very safe car and everything did its job.”