Less than two months after making his stock car racing debut, Taylor Gray broke into victory lane for the first time on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Gray, a member of the famous Gray racing family that competes in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, bested a 17-car field to win the 50-lap Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Model main event driving for Lee Faulk Racing and Development.
“What an incredible night,” Gray said. “I'm still a rookie in these cars so to get my first victory so soon is pretty incredible and to do it at Hickory Motor Speedway, a track with so much history, makes it that much sweeter.”
The 13-year-old Gray qualified second and stayed there for the early portion of the race before taking the lead around lap 20. Once out front Gray would lead the rest of the race, but he had to survive several late-race restarts before ultimately making his first visit to victory lane at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway oval.
“It was a fight to get the lead, but once I got it I just had to manage my tires and make sure I had good restarts,” said Gray, who also watched his older brother and NHRA Pro Stock race winner Tanner Gray nearly win both of the twin 40-lap late model stock car races Saturday night at Hickory. “It would have been awesome to share victory lane with my brother, but he ended up second and third in his two races. I guess that means I get all the bragging rights this week!”
Lee Faulk Racing and Development's Michael Faulk continues to be impressed by Gray, who made his stock car racing debut at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 17 with a sixth-place finish in limited late model competition.
“Taylor is certainly a fast learner,” Faulk said. “He's like a sponge soaking up everything we're teaching him and he put it all to good use this weekend at Hickory to win his first race. Now we've got to focus on getting him his second victory, but as good as this young man is I don't think it'll take him very long to do that.”