By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
At Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Gray was leading in overtime when his No. 17 Ford F-150 was spun into the outside wall. After the crash, the younger of the Gray brothers finished 22nd, on the lead lap.
Fast forward to the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation and Gray once again found himself inside the top-10 in the second Stage. The No. 17 Ford Performance Ford F-150 climbed into fifth by the end of Stage 2. However, once the final Stage started, the Denver, N.C. native slipped back.
Gray slipped down to eighth midway into the final Stage at Richmond. It appeared that he was going to have to settle in to an eighth-place finish when the caution waved with about 35 laps to go. Gray pitted for four tires during the caution.
With fresh tires on his No. 17 Ford, the 17-year-old moved forward once again. Gray worked his way by Christian Eckes and Matt Crafton to take sixth. He remained in that spot, the truck getting tighter over the course of the run, until the checkered flag for his career best finish in the Truck Series.
Gray took to social media post race to express his thoughts.
“Had a pretty good night tonight at Richmond Raceway,” explained Gray. “I feel like we should have been top-five for sure. Just messed up on the last restart and got too tight that last run to the checkered. (Finished sixth). Thank you David Gilliland Racing and Ford Performance.”
Gray qualified 24th for the 250-lap race at Richmond. Though he was initially mired outside the top-20 for the first half of Stage 1, the David Gilliland Racing driver stayed on step ahead of then-leader Ty Majeski. Gray maneuvered his way into the top-15 by the end of the Stage.
The sixth-place finish is Gray’s first top-10 of the season. It’s also his second career top-10 finish. Gray’s previous best finish was an eighth place at Martinsville Speedway last Fall.
Gray’s No. 17 Ford is in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Owner’s Playoffs. The David Gilliland Racing truck entered Richmond 10th in the owner’s points standings, 12-points below the playoff cutline. By virtue of Gray’s top-10 finish the No. 17 is now ninth in points, two-points below the cutline, currently held by the Niece Motorsports No. 42.
Had a pretty good night tonight @RichmondRaceway. I feel like we should’ve been top 5 for sure just messed up on the last restart and got too tight that last run to the checkered. P6. Thank you @dgr_racing @FordPerformance pic.twitter.com/btYjXYrlgI
— Taylor Gray (@TaylorGray17_) August 14, 2022
The David Gilliland Racing entry made the Truck Series Owner’s Playoffs after Ryan Preece won at Nashville Superspeedway earlier this season. Though Todd Gilliland won in the No. 17 at Knoxville Raceway, it was not an automatic playoff berth due to him having declared for NASCAR Cup Series points.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.