Gray ‘Disappointed’ After Losing Kansas ARCA Race Late


Tanner Gray finished a frustrating second at Kansas Speedway in ARCA Menards Series action. (Ed Zurga/ARCA Racing photo)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Tanner Gray had Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series race at Kansas Speedway well in hand, until one late-race adjustment sent everything awry.

Despite leading 86 of 100 laps in the Tide 150, Gray noted a tight condition with his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota over the radio as the race wound into its closing stages.

As such, when a spinning Ryan Roulette brought out the third and final caution with 25 laps left, crew chief Matt Ross called to loosen up the car when Gray brought the field down pit road for tires and fuel.

However, that change proved costly, as Gray spent the final 18 green-flag laps battling a “tail happy” race car and could only watch as Connor Mosack drove by him for the lead with 13 to go.

Though Gray found speed on the bottom groove late, he couldn’t mount enough of a challenge to get back to Mosack’s bumper and had to settle for a disappointing runner-up finish, .470 seconds back.

It was his career-best finish in a national ARCA Menards Series race, but after how thoroughly he dominated three-quarters of the Kansas event, Gray was left wanting more once he climbed from his car.

“I just made a bad lane decision that let him [Mosack] get to us, I think,” explained Gray. “Once he was beside me, I was just too tight to really get back to him. We fought being just a little bit too tight in the rubber, and once we were side-by-side I couldn’t really get back to him. I felt like I could match his pace, but couldn’t really do much to get there, I guess.

“I’m kicking myself even more because I felt like the bottom [lane] had started to come back around in [turns] three and four, and I just never really got enough of an opportunity to get down there and run it,” Gray added. “Coming to the checkers there, I felt like I gained a lot just running the bottom, so if I could’ve found that sooner I might have had a chance to get back by him.

“Just disappointed in myself. Everybody from Joe Gibbs Racing gave me a really fast Toyota Camry and I didn’t do a good enough job to be sitting in victory lane.”

Saturday was Gray’s fifth top-five finish in ARCA Menards Series competition and bettered his third-place result from Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 20.

Gray will continue his regular driving duties in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Saturday night with TRICON Garage, part of a double-duty day in the Sunflower State.

Meanwhile, the ARCA Menards Series national schedule resumes May 24 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway with the running of the General Tire 150. Gray will be back in the No. 18 for that race.

The 25-year-old Artesia, N.M., native has one prior ARCA start at Charlotte, which came in 2019 with David Gilliland Racing – the team that became TRICON Garage prior to the start of the 2023 season.

Gray started second and finished sixth in an overtime-extended race that was won by Ty Majeski.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.