NHRA announced the disqualification of J.R. Gray’s run on Sunday during a post-race inspection following the final round of the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ due to a technical violation after bypassing a safety device.

As a result of the disqualification, Kris Thorne has been named the winner at Bristol Dragway, with Gray finishing as the runner-up.

It was the fifth of 10 races during the 2024 season and this weekend’s event was powered by Cardinal Insurance. 

Thorne, who qualified No. 1 with a run of 5.764-seconds at 250.41 mph, knocked off Rickie Smith, Ken Quartuccio and points leader Jose Gonzalez to reach the final round. It is Thorne’s first win this season and the seventh in his career.

Mike Janis Racing, who fields the car Gray drives, offered a statement on Sunday evening following the disqualification.

"This is an extremely hard post to make....on behalf of everyone here at Mike Janis Racing while JR Gray 100% dominated today and won the Wally here at NHRA Bristol, TN...we were DQ'ed in the final round and fined $5,000," the statement read. "We replaced the air regulator system in our car this morning as we were having some issues. Didn't want to chance it so we took it out of the other car.  In doing so there was a switch that was bypassed.  An air safety switch.  All the safety features still worked properly on the car.  Every last one of them!!  There was no performance enhancing things we did wrong, it was all due to a safety switch which was bypassed.  

"We are completely shattered and at a loss for words.  Morally and ethically it was a horrible decision as nothing we did put anyone in danger or could've hurt someone.  If you want to fine us go right ahead...but you do not take a man's Wally away. We earned it and worked so hard for that moment. We appreciate all the support and congratulations.  So proud of this team. So damn proud. " 

The Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ returns to action with the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va. It is the final race of the regular season in the category.