Full speed aheadTuesday, March 27, 2012
Posted by: Shane Gray, Gray Motorsports Camaro

This year is going by so fast already. The trucks left today to head to Las Vegas for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, and when we loaded up our Service Central Pontiac, I had a pretty good feeling. Last week there were a bunch of us that went out to test at zMax Dragway over there in Charlotte – it's only a little ways from our shop in Denver, N.C., so it feels a little bit like home when we're there, and I like that.

My dad came up to visit the weekend after Gainesville, and he came by the Gray Motorsports shop and we all kind of put our heads together. His Service Central Funny Car has been tuned up lately, and I know he wants to see our program follow along those same lines. Well, we're learning some things, and it showed when we got the car on the racetrack. I have no complaints about that test session, and it was real encouraging. Now I can't wait to get to Las Vegas and see what we can do.

We celebrated two birthdays last week - my dad, Johnny Gray, and my son Taylor. Here we are in Phoenix earlier this year.

While my dad was here, we got the family all together and had dinner. It was a whole bunch of us, and we had a great time celebrating his birthday. He doesn't like to make a big deal out of it, but getting the family together is something we can do that we know makes him happy. Heck, it makes all of us happy.

When I leave for Las Vegas here on Thursday, it will be the first time this season that I won't be leaving with Amber and the boys. We decided that they would stay behind this time, and that's going to make the weekend a little bit different. For one thing, Amber always makes sure that we all get fed. I like to eat so I won't go without a meal or anything, but it's going to be a matter of me getting it myself! More than that, though, it just feels like not having your favorite pair of shoes on when you leave the house. Maybe that's a guy thing because I know girls usually have several different pairs of shoes, but what I'm trying to say is that it just won't be quite as comfortable without them.

I know I say it all the time, but my guys just work so hard. Because of all that hard work we are ready to go, and me and the family got to head up to Virginia to watch my oldest, Bryce, race in a Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier – a MotoCross event – this weekend. He did well, and we're sure proud of him. We also celebrated a birthday for my youngest: Happy Birthday, Taylor. I'll see if I can come up with some pictures for you guys and post them later. It was good to spend quality time with everyone before I head west this week, that's for sure.

Overall, I think it will be a good weekend. We're going to go spend some time with everybody at the Fan Fest on the Brooklyn Bridge in Las Vegas outside of the New York-New York casino on Thursday night (we'll be there from 6:00 to 7:30 pm), and those Fan Fests are always a good time. The last one at The Ale House in Gainesville was just awesome, and I expect this one will live up to the hype, too. Then we'll get some shut-eye before heading to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway early on Friday. It looks like the sun is supposed to shine this weekend, and hopefully it will shine on us a little more than it has in the past couple of months. We aren't planning on being timid on that racetrack, and boy would it would be nice to see everything come together.

Oh, before I forget. The guys are going to pick up our new Camaro on the way home from Vegas. Can't wait to get it to the shop!