In the winners circle Sunday at the Sonoma Nationals were Brown and Gray.
But it was really written in black and white -- that green is the favorite color of drag racers.
Antron Brown in Top Fuel and Johnny Gray held up special silver anniversary trophies to commemorate the 25th running of this event at the racetrack familiar to National Hot Road Association fans as Sears Point and later Infineon Raceway which is nameless at the moment.
But what was unique about this DSR double-up result -- which gave the seven-car organization its 188th and 189th overall triumphs -- was that DSR produced all four finalists in the NHRA's headliner nitro classes. Just before Brown defeated Spencer Massey to seize a share of the points lead, Gray ran away from mechanically jinxed Matt Hagan.
After becoming a two-time winner using a 4.142-second elapsed time at 305.15 mph, Gray said the DSR phenomenon is because of "day-after-day hard work" and "all the parts, pieces, and people" Don Schumacher has built through a network of sponsorships that a legacy of winning and professionalism have attracted.
"You can go out and buy all the parts and pieces you want to, but if you don’t have a family of crew members and a family of crew chiefs that share information, you get lost and you can't find your way back.
"We've been lost a couple of times since I've been over at Don's," the former Pro Stock driver, who still owns the team that features his son Shane Gray, said. "And the other crew chiefs come over. They look at what we're doing. So that's what it's all about: sharing information and having a team effort."
And that takes money to assemble.
Gray easily can recognize that. He's a smart and opportunistic businessman who made his reputation and fortune in the oil and gas industry in his native New Mexico. So, as the saying goes, it takes one to know one.
And Gray can recognize that he has the perfect combination of crew chiefs and crew members. He praised crew chiefs Rob Wendland and Rip Reynolds and his Big O Tires/SpeeDee Lube Dodge Charger team with giving him a car he doesn't have to worry about when he climbs into it.
"We had a great race car all weekend," Gray said, joking that "they gave me a good enough one I couldn't even screw it up."
Seriously, he said, "You absolutely depend on your crew to give you a good, safe race car. The beauty of my car is I never walk around to look at the car, to see if everything's like it’s supposed to be and it's safe and everything's hooked up or whatever. I just never give it any thought. When you can crawl in a race car without having to worry about the quality of parts that are in the car or the quality of people working on it, it kind of frees your mind up to just go drive the race car and have a good time."
Gray is having a lot more fun this season than he did last year, when he discovered he had a stout car that could beat the field's elite only after he missed the Countdown cutoff. He remains fifth in the standings. Although he hasn't clinched a berth in the six-race playoff, he appears to be a shoo-in for a spot this year.
The jury is still out for Hagan, the reigning champion who desperately needed a strong performance this weekend.
He has a mathematical chance to gain ground in the next three races before the fields are set. Although he had some spectacular engine troubles in the final round that prevented him from giving Gray a challenge in their first final-round encounter (posting a 5.461/146.67), the Virginia cattle farmer said he considered advancing to a final round for the first time -- getting past the second round for the first time in this year's 14 races -- a major step in the right direction.
"I'll take second today, darn right I will," Hagan said. "Johnny's a great teammate and friend, but I wanted to beat him like a drum. He just had a better car this weekend."
He said, "Our guys had to wick it up because he had lane choice."
"We spent the day pedal-festing, but Johnny did a great job of leaving on time and keeping it in the groove. Don't get me wrong -- I wanted to thump him bad, but congratulations to Johnny and his guys because they worked just as hard as our guys did."
The last time DSR drivers claimed all four spots in the nitro final rounds at the same event was Aug. 21, 2011, at Brainerd, Minn. Both Brown and Gray won that time, as well.
This meeting between Gray and Hagan marked the 15th time that DSR fielded both Funny Car finalists.
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