La Grange, N.C. (Mar. 2, 2023) – The last time Delaney Gray competed at New River All-American Speedway, she rang in the new year on a proper note by scoring one of the biggest Bandolero victories of her career.
Delaney is returning to New River this weekend for the facility’s most prestigious event in the Battle of the Stars, where she hopes to obtain plenty of experience and add another marquee victory to her growing resume.
With so much attention on the Battle of Stars, Delaney knows there are high expectations for the weekend but said visiting Victory Lane at New River on New Year’s Day has given her plenty of confidence heading into the race.
“It felt really good to start the year off with a win,” Delaney said. “That gave me some encouragement about continuing our momentum. I’m really excited [about the Battle of the Stars] because I know we have a good car.”
Delaney enters the 2023 season having already established herself as a promising talent in Bandolero competition.
Along with earning two victories before her New Year’s Day triumph, Delaney scored three poles and set track records at New River and Southern National Motorsports Park, all of which came as a pleasant surprise for her father Brandon Gray.
“We exceeded expectations,” Brandon said. “Our goal for her was to be a lead lap car. She really struggled in the first part of 2022, but she did so well at the end of the year. It was a good learning year for Delaney.”
Brandon added Delaney excelled at finding consistency. He said young drivers in particular struggle to find a rhythm when there is down time between races, which is why he was impressed at how Delaney never lost her comfort zone and got more acclimated to the car as the year progressed.
Providing constructive feedback is another promising development Brandon has seen from Delaney. During New Year’s Day at New River, Brandon noticed Delaney had a firm understanding on what her car was doing and was able to relay whether or not the car was tight or loose.
Now that they can put more focus on making the car faster, Brandon intends to have Delaney contest the Bandolero championships at both New River and Southern National, where he hopes his daughter will continue to make strides in approaching each facility’s distinct layout.
“At Southern National, they run the bottom of the track on the straightaway,” Brandon said. “You go from a flat straightaway to a high-banked, really tight corner. The turns are a lot more abrupt compared to New River, which has very wide, sweeping corners. Delaney’s biggest learning curve has been adapting to the differences between the two tracks.”
If everything goes according to plan, Brandon would love to see Delaney contend for the North Carolina INEX Bandolero championship but said their main focus will be on staying in contention every time they show up at New River and Southern National.
Brandon is proud of the progress his daughter has made as a driver and knows she has the potential to get even better. He is optimistic Delaney will once again exceed expectations in 2023 if she continues to build upon her strengths.
“When you’re a dad, you want to see a kid focus on something, practice and get better,” Brandon said. “Hard work does pay off and that’s the main thing with Delaney. It doesn’t matter where we finish as long as we continue to see consistent improvement.”
Delaney has every reason to believe she will only get better as a driver and is eager to showcase her talent at New River for the Battle of the Stars.
The idea of winning a title at either New River or Southern National is one Delaney has thought about frequently during the offseason. While she expects plenty of challenges along the way, Delaney is determined to make those championship dreams a reality.
“If I win a championship, and hopefully I will, it’ll be very exciting,” Delaney said. “I finished second in the [point standings] at New River last year, so we’re thinking we can go for a championship this year.”
The Bandolero feature is the first race on the docket for Saturday’s Battle of the Stars, where Delaney and the rest of the field will have 15 laps or 15 minutes to decide which one of them gets to celebrate in New River’s victory lane.
Anyone interested in following Delaney’s career can visit her new website at delaneygrayracing.com.
Delaney would like to thank her family, her team, MPM Marketing and all her partners in Bob’s Muffler Shop of Goldsboro, Brandon Gray Racing, Solid Rock Carriers, Dillon Spain Motorsports, W.G. Speaks Inc., Carolina Family Pool & Patio, Firm360, K1 RaceGear, Wiley X, The Jessica Gurley Team – RE/MAX Complete and Carolina Mobile Refrigeration.
-MPM Marketing Press Releas