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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Taylor Gray Holds Off Brother, Ends Up Seventh

Taylor Gray

Taylor Gray runs during practice for the 250 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish)

FORT WORTH, Texas — As FOX Sports’ Jamie Little said during Friday night’s 250 at Texas Motor Speedway, it’s not a matter of if Taylor Gray will score his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win. It’s a matter of when.

For some parts of the race, it looked as if the 19-year old was putting himself in position to contend, as he ran as high as second while battling hard with the likes of Corey Heim, Christian Eckes and Nick Sanchez.

However, as those three followed Kyle Busch to the checkered flag, Gray ended up dropping positions on the final 10-lap run. He held onto seventh-place over his older brother, Tanner Gray.

“The cautions at the end – we didn’t need those,” Tay. Gray said. “It was just another cycle on the tires. It got us continuously tighter and we ended up bleeding spots on that last restart.”

In his first full season, the Denver, North Carolina, native has six top-10 finishes in the opening seven races. He had six in 20 races in all of the 2023 season.

Taylor Gray

Taylor Gray now has six top-10s in the first seven races. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

All throughout Friday, the No. 17 JBL Toyota showed speed, posting the fifth best lap in practice and the ninth-best in qualifying.

The race was a gradual build for Tay. Gray, as he dropped one spot to 10th in the opening stage that was slowed by a pair of early crashes.

The second stage is where Tay. Gray showed what speed his TRICON Garage truck had on the long run, climbing from 10th to the top-five in the 35-lap second stage.

The third stage also started with a long run, where Tay. Gray was among the four trucks battling for positions 2-5 behind Busch. After a caution for Layne Riggs led to a lap 141 restart, the TRICON product showed serious pace, getting up to second right behind Busch.

However, as two more crashes slowed the race, the tires began to fall off, leading to the seventh place effort.

Ever since flipping on the last lap at Daytona, Tay. Gray has six straight top-10 finishes, with two seventh-place runs being the worst in that span.

“I can’t thank all of my TRICON guys enough,” Tay. Gray said. “Good points day. We move on and go to Texas.”

As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes three weekends off, Gray will prepare for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race. It will be Tay. Gray’s third career start and he will take off from third in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

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