A tragic week for Taylor Gray and his DGR Crosley race team ended in victory lane Friday night at Phoenix Raceway.
Four days after the team’s hauler driver Steven Stotts died in an accident while transporting the team’s No. 17 Ford, Gray outran a hard-charging field to win the General Tire 150.
“I’ve been trying not to cry this whole night,” said Gray, who not only carried Stotts’ name on the door of his car, but also featured the names of John Zaverl and Michael Mizzelle, who were passengers in the transporter and survived the accident near Longview, Texas. “I really think Steven was looking out over us tonight.”
Gray’s victory was hard earned, as he sustained challenges from the likes of Daniel Dye, Sammy Smith and Rajah Caruth on the final restart. But those drivers couldn’t catch the 16-year-old Gray, who captured his first ARCA Menards Series win on the challenging, mile-long, doglegged oval. Dye, Smith and Caruth finished second through fourth, respectively, while Jake Drew rounded out the top five.
Gray’s win sets the table for the remainder of this weekend’s action at Phoenix Raceway. On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes the green flag shortly after 2:30 p.m. in the United Rentals 200. And then on Sunday, at 12:30 p.m., the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series compete in the weekend’s showcase event – the Ruoff Mortgage 500.
Select tickets remain for both days and fans are encouraged to act quickly to secure their seats. Tickets for all events are available at www.phoenixraceway.com/tickets.