Taylor Gray will be making his first career start in any series at Memphis (Tenn.) International Raceway in the No. 17 Ford Performance Fusion Saturday. Coming off a fifth-place finish at another short track last weekend at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, Gray is looking forward to a new short-track challenge at Memphis.
Gray overcame damage to his Fusion during practice last weekend at Winchester to qualify and finish fifth. Two days before that, he brought home a seventh-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway without any practice due to rain most of the day.
In 14 ARCA Menards Series starts this season (including East and West starts), he has achieved eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. In the two races where he was not in the top 10, he finished 11th. He is 11th in points despite only running 10 of the 17 races this season since the 15-year-old rookie is not eligible to compete at the larger tracks. This is also the final race of the Sioux Chief Short Track Showdown Series. Gray sits eighth in points in that series after missing the first race at Phoenix (Az.) Raceway, which was before his 15th birthday.
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 from Memphis International Raceway will be run on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on MAVTV and TrackPass on NBC Gold. The 200-lap race will have two race breaks on, or near laps 75 and 150.
Gray on Memphis: "I think Memphis will be challenging. It's an old, worn out racing surface with flat, long straightaways. It should be fun, I just have to adapt and execute. We'll have a 45-minute practice in the afternoon, so that will be a big help to figure out my marks and get a feel for the track."