Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Mustang
Taylor Gray qualified second for the Herr’s Snacks 200 at Salem Speedway. On the initial green flag, Gray dropped to the fifth position after getting trapped on the bottom – unable to get to the dominant high line in turns three and four. On lap 24, the Ford Performance driver grabbed two more spots, regaining second by passing two cars in a single lap. At the end of the first stage break, Crew Chief Chad Johnston called for a trackbar adjustment and a fresh set of right-side tires to address the lack of grip. The No. 17 restarted the second stage in fourth position struggling through no lateral grip in turns one and two and unable to get to the throttle in three and four. A spirited battle with the No. 20 would see Gray close out the second stage in the fourth position. After a final trackbar adjustment and bearbond to patch a hole in the nose, Gray rocketed back to third place before the abrasive surface caused the right rear to disintegrate – rendering the Artesia, NM native to a fourth-place finish.