Gray Motorsports and Cagnazzi Racing will combine forces in 2014 to create a powerful multi-car team with sites set on winning the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock championship.
The two established NHRA Pro Stock programs will merge together as one and operate under the Gray Motorsports banner.
Engine development for both the Pro Stock and Cagnazzi’s successful COPO Camaro Stock Eliminator programs will take place at the Gray Motorsports facility in Denver, North Carolina, and chassis development for both will take place in Victor Cagnazzi’s facility in nearby Mooresville. The new Gray Motorsports team is currently seeking support for a three-car team to include drivers Shane Gray, Dave Connolly and Erica Enders-Stevens.
The merger will allow Cagnazzi and Gray Motorsports owner Johnny Gray to follow an already proven method of success.
“This is a model that NASCAR embraced years ago because of all the performance and economic efficiencies,” said Cagnazzi. “We believe that for NHRA and the sport of drag racing, this is a natural progression, and it’s a progression that we intend to lead.”
“With the cost of running these cars and the difficulty of finding sponsorship, it just makes sense to follow NASCAR’s successful model. We believe that this merger is in the best interest for all of us, and we expect to see results,” Gray said.
Also included in the merger will be the establishment of an engine and technology leasing program that will allow Pro Stock drivers and teams requiring varying levels of support to participate in the ultra-competitive class.
“We want to provide good, competitive engines to customers who do not have the funding required to spend on the research and development it takes to be successful in this class,” said Gray. “There will be something for everyone; we’ll offer programs to lease engines for the guy who can only run two or three races a year all the way up to a full season. Heck, if you want to bring your helmet, we’ll provide you with a complete car, crew, and the expertise with which you can run at the championship.”
Gray Motorsports currently has a program in place that crafts engines for circle track racing such as 360 and 410 sprint cars, as well as IMCA competition that includes modifieds, late models, sprint cars, stock cars, and hobby stocks. With the expansion of the in-house engine program and the inclusion of Cagnazzi’s existing personnel, development and leasing will soon extend to engines used in NHRA’s sportsman series categories Competition Eliminator and Top Sportsman.
“Victor and I are very excited about joining forces to build a more competitive program and go after the 2014 Mello Yello Pro Stock championship,” said Gray. “We expect that a Gray Motorsports Pro Stock car will win the championship, and we will be thrilled when that happens—regardless of which of our drivers is behind the wheel.”
“I’m very excited. The combined organization presents a talent pool that is pretty stout and includes personnel who collectively have achieved several Pro Stock championships,” said Cagnazzi. “I think that the most exciting thing is that we’ll be operating as a team and as a unit. One team, one goal. See you in the winner’s circle.”