By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Tanner Gray and Deric Kramer have faced each other in the past two final rounds. Gray won the previous event in Seattle, as Kramer went red and the 19-year-old captured the Wally to complete the historic Western Swing.
Kramer defeated Gray in the final round on Sunday, as Gray went red. Kramer picked up the Wally at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Kramer went 6.652 at 207.56 mph to get the win. Gray was -0.002 red, giving the Wally to Kramer off the line.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Kramer, who made his third straight finals appearance this season. “I know how good you have to be to win in this class. You just have to be ready every time you go to the starting line. There’s no free shots. You have to be competitive, and if you’re not competitive on the tree and you’re not competitive on the track, you’re not going to win, you’re going to go home. We just continue to do that and hopefully it works out for us more than it doesn’t.”
Kramer now has two wins this season. He also won the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties on May 22nd, as weather caused the final round to be run on the Monday of the race.
He now ties Vincent Nobile and Chris McGaha with two wins this season. Gray is the leader with four wins, while Jeg Coughlin Jr. is not far behind with three wins.
Gray held a 5-2 advantage over Kramer in prior events. Gray also won the Seattle event in the aforementioned win.
The Gray Motorsports driver, who attempted to win his second straight race at Brainerd, was too quick on the tree. That turned on the red light for the North Carolina driver.
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