Pro Stock rookie sensation Tanner Gray continued to pull away from the rest of the competition in the battle for this year's Auto Club Road to the Future Award. Gray, the prohibitive favorite for the honor that recognizes the season's top Professional rookie, qualified No. 1 for the third time in 2017 and collected his fourth Wally of the season. The strong showing moved Gray up to the No. 2 spot in the Pro Stock points standings heading into the final regular season event, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indy.
Troy Coughlin Jr. (Top Fuel), Jonnie Lindberg (Funny Car), and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also in competition at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, but all were on the trailer after round one on Sunday. Top Fuel racers Shawn Reed and Mike Salinas did not attend the Brainerd event.
Following are the stats for all six Auto Club Road to the Future Award candidates through Brainerd, race 17 of 24 (nine of 16 for Pro Stock Motorcycle) on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
|Best qualifying position||5||11||9||4||1||3|
|*Does not include NHRA Four-Wide Nationals|