By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Former NHRA Pro Stock champion and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East winner Tanner Gray will run full-time in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2020, piloting the No. 15 DGR-Crosley Ford F-150.
The New Mexico racer said he’s really looking forward to the season, but understands that it won’t be easy on the national level.
“Obviously running full-time in the Truck Series is going to be tough with how competitive the series is,” Gray said. “It’s going to be challenging racing with these guys week in and week out, but I have a lot of great people around me.
“The experience in the DGR-Crosley guys will help me adapt and learn quickly. It’s also exciting that Ford is coming on board and giving us assets that will further advance our performance each week.”
This past season on the Eastside, Gray won the first South Boston race along with three more top-three finishes that resulted in a third place championship campaign.
Additionally, Gray also ran three events on the Westside, finishing runner-up in all three of them, including a thrilling photo finish at Irwindale Speedway where he came up 0.030 seconds short of beating Trevor Huddleston.
Furthermore, Gray ran eight ARCA races, scoring a pole at Kansas and a fifth-place finish at Michigan.
If that wasn’t enough, he ran the final three Truck Series races (Martinsville, Phoenix and Homestead) where he had issues in each of them, resulting in three top-20 finishes.
Despite a bit underwhelming results in Trucks, the 20-year-old’s successful transition from the drag strip to the rough and tough world of stock car racing impressed co-owner David Gilliland enough to get the full-time nod.
“Tanner has done a great job in his transition to stock car racing,” Gilliland said. “I was really impressed with how well he picked up the feel of the car and was able to provide very detailed feedback.
“It’s a big step up to the Truck Series, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s ready for it. I’m confident that the team we are assembling at DGR-Crosley is going to be one that is a factor every weekend and will compete for wins. I’m really looking forward to it.”
In addition of running for Sunoco NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors, Gray will run a select amount of ARCA Menards Series and ARCA East races.