Taylor Gray, No. 17 Place of Hope Ford Fusion
Although Taylor Gray does not have experience on the Daytona road course, he does have the advantage of already competing in two road races this season. The 15-year-old rookie ran the ARCA Menards Series West doubleheader at Utah Motorsports Campus road course in June. For his first time turning left and right, he picked up on the skills quickly and finished fourth in the first 31-lap race. While running in the top five in the second race, a battery issue put him back in 11th to finish the race. His DGR-Crosley team is taking the same Ford Fusion to Daytona that he raced at Utah in June.
Gray has had an impressive season so far since he was able to start racing in the various ARCA Menards Series after he turned 15 on March 25 and the ARCA schedule resumed in June. In seven ARCA starts (combining all three series) he has four top-five and five top-10 finishes.
Gray will race a special paint scheme at Daytona showcasing Place of Hope. Place of Hope is a faith-based, state licensed organization focused on providing programs and services to end the cycles of abuse, neglect, homelessness and human trafficking. They offer support to children, youth and families in need. They are the largest, most diverse, residential children and families organization in Palm Beach County (Fla.) and the Treasure Coast. Their goal is to help those they serve find healing and restoration, which leads to a successful future. For more information, visit https://www.placeofhope.com/.
The ARCA Menards Series General Tire 100 from Daytona International Speedway will be run on Friday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Gold TrackPass. The 29-lap race will have one race break on, or near lap 15.
Gray on Daytona: “This will technically be my third road race since I did two at Utah Motorsports Campus in June in ARCA West. I had a lot of fun racing there and we had plenty of speed, but a flat tire kept us from competing for a win in the first race and a battery issue kept us from a top five in the second race. I’ve spent some time on the Ford Performance simulator learning the Daytona course, so hopefully that will speed up my learning curve during practice on Friday. I’ll be racing the same Ford as we took to Utah, so we know it’s fast.
“I’m also happy to have Place of Hope on my car for the race. It is a great organization helping kids and families in South Florida. My family has been a big supporter for years and we hope this race helps bring them some awareness for donations.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!