Houston area No Box racer Raland “Ralo” Wray is this weeks’ Racer Spotlight!
Raland Wray has been tearing up dragstrips for the last seven years. After being introduced to bracket racing by a friend, he has been hooked ever since. This season Raland had another successful effort culminating with a track championship at Pine Valley Raceway in Lufkin, TX.
An avid racer, Raland will enter his Chevy Luv truck in just about any class. This includes No Box, Box (off the bottom), no prep, and index classes to name a few. You name it and Raland is ready to compete.
With his track championship in hand, we asked Raland to participate in a Q&A so DragChamp Nation could learn more about his racing career.
DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Raland Wray
How long have you been racing?
2012 was my rookie year for bracket racing.
How did you get introduced to the sport?
A buddy invited me to the racetrack for BBQ, so I brought the truck out. They only way to make a pass was buy a tech card. I was runner up in my first race and lost in the semis the next day. I was a bracket racer from then on.
Which class or classes do you compete in? Where do you normally race?
I primarily run No Box, but I will enter the Box class off the bottom bulb. My home track is Houston Raceway Park for NHRA and Evadale or Pine Valley for IHRA depending on my work schedule.
Tell us about your current race car.
1976 Chevy Luv with a 383 SBC, powerglide, 9 inch Ford rear end, stock suspension (and I mean stock) with an 8.50 certified chromoly 12 point roll cage. It runs 9.90’s in good air.
Please list your major racing accomplishments.
I have always been in the top 10 in points, which I feel like is a huge accomplishment. I won the National Dragster Challenge and won the 2019 Pine Valley Raceway Mod/No Box track championship.
What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?
Ultimate goals are to become a world champion. Becoming a track champion at Houston Raceway is the next step. My future goals are to have a faster No Box / 5.80 index door car.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
The Emmons Bros. have a red, white and blue 1969 Camaro that has to be my favorite. I like trucks, so the Richardson Bros. S10’s are also favorites.
Tell us what you do for a living?
I am an industrial refrigeration mechanic. I work primarily with low temp -17 and -40 Ammonia .
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
I have a side fund for it that doesn’t affect my bills or my family .
Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?
A black motorcycle at night. Being slow car and trying to find them is tough.
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
The dedication and effort it takes to have a competitive car and being solid enough to drive it.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
I have made about every mistake you can make. My worst was probably driving the street truck and being .001 against Donna Lummus and taking too much strip to breakout at five cars. I would have had bye to finals.
What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?
I take a deep breath and tell myself to focus.
What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?
The racing family. They are such great people.
Are you superstitious?
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
I love to win. I’m competitive, so losing makes me rethink my mistakes.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
What motivates you to continue racing?
I enjoy the competition. I like that two go down and one goes home.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?
I would probably buy a new truck and leave it alone. A nice RV and two car open trailer. That would be my next step up. But I’m happy where I’m at though.
How often do you use a practice tree?
I practice tree 3 times a week, 10 hits at a time and take a break.
What is your daily driver?
2005 GMC regular cab short bed.
Favorite movie or TV show?
Smokey and the Bandit and Dazed and Confused for movies. I like Barnwood Builders and American Pickers along with the car shows, Street Outlaws, etc.
Favorite music, artist?
Classic and heavy metal rock. Van Halen with David Lee Roth.
Where do you spend the most time on the internet?
Watching live stream drag racing and learning from the best.
What is your favorite sport? Favorite team?
Baseball, I’m an Astros fan!
Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?
What are you really good at?
Fixing things, making stuff work.
Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?
There is a place for both. Quiet evening would be first choice.
What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?
My wife, Brenda, she puts up with me and the racing. Dusty Fincher helps me a lot. Brent Lovett, he has tirelessly supported my racing program.
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