There’s a saying that good things will happen to good people, and ask anybody around the racetrack and they will tell you that Adam Gray is definitely a fine young man.

The 19-year-old who resides in Kingsport, is an honors graduate from Sullivan Central High School and he’s currently a sophomore on the Dean’s List at East Tennessee State University where’s he’s majoring in computer science.

With his main focus being concentrated on his college education, racing has taken somewhat of a seat on the backburner in 2015. But it’s given the Adam Gray Racing team luxury of having their equipment well-prepared when they’ve decided to race.

“With this being my third year racing a Late Model Stock Car, we’ve not raced as much this season as we did the past couple of years,” said Gray from the pits Saturday night at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va. “I’m attending East Tennessee State University full-time and my education is important to me. I love racing, but I’m still young and I’ve got many years of racing ahead to look forward to.”

Making just his fourth visit Saturday to Lonesome Pine Raceway this season, Gray made it a night he’ll never forget. After starting the first of twin NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car features from the second row of a 14-car starting field, Gray just held his own through the first 27 laps of the event riding in third place behind Lance Gatlin and Kyle Barnes as they battled back and forth.

Sometimes it pays to be in the right position at the right time, and then one must capitalize on the opportunity presented. And Gray did just that after inheriting the lead on lap 27 after Gatlin and Barnes tangled to bring out the caution. With Gray out front for run to the checkered flag, he would not be denied a visit to victory lane.

“Wow, it’s such a great feeling to know all of the hard work our team has put into our racing program has paid off with our first-ever NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win,” said Gray with a smile on his face. “Winning your first-ever NASCAR sanctioned race is a very special deal. As a racer it’s something you dream about and once it happens, you’ll never forget the awesome feeling.

“I guess for the rest of my life when I look at the trophy, I’ll always remember my first-ever NASCAR victory. It’s tough to put into words how much getting this win means to not only me personally, but to my parents (Gary and Diane Gray) and everybody on the race team that’s a part of us winning.”

Gray backed his victory from the first race up by finishing fourth in the second LMSC event.

Coming off his 2014 rookie season competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Lonesome Pine Raceway, where he recorded 15 top 10 finishes in 18 starts and wound up sixth in Late Model Stock Car points, a partial schedule this season has led to even better results. Through eight starts to date, Gray’s recorded seven top-five finishes, with eight overall top 10 finishes, highlighted by the victory.

“When you look around the pits and see drivers that have raced all season, and with this just our fourth night of racing this season and we get into victory lane, it’s a huge accomplishment for us,” stated Gray. “In each of our visits we’ve ran really strong. We’ve been well prepared when we arrived at the track to unload for practice and then our race finishes have been great. We’ve had seven top-five finishes in eight starts against tough competition, and we’ve just put ourselves into contention to where if the cards fall just right, you can capture a victory.

“I can’t thank my dad and mom (Gary and Diane Gray) enough for the opportunities they provide me to race. And then my crew chief and also race night spotter, David Roope, he’s just a wealth of knowledge and has been involved in motorsports for many years.”

After beginning racing go-karts when he was just eight years old, Gray would compete locally around East Tennessee at Beechnut Raceway in Blountville and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains at Dumplin Valley Raceway under World Karting Association and Maxxis Series sanctioning for the next seven years.

Gray moved from racing go-karts to competing in the INEX U.S. Legend Cars International division headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., which sanctions tracks all across the United States, during the 2011 and ’12 seasons. In his first season at Kingsport Speedway, Gray would earn Rookie-of-the-Year honors and the following season he finished second in Legend points at the track. But the crowing jewel for the teenager was being named Young Lions INEX U.S. Legend Cars International Tennessee State Champion.

With Adam Gray Racing purchasing a Late Model Stock Car during the winter off-season leading into the 2013 campaign, plans were to compete at Lonesome Pine Raceway under American Speed Association sanctioning. Like a duck takes to water, Gray quickly adapted to driving the full-size stock car and in July captured not only his first Late Model Stock Car victory, but he swept the night’s action by doubling-up to win both LMSC features.

Now with three Late Model Stock Car victories to his credit, the future indeed remains bright for the talented wheelman Gray.

It’s said when you dream, to dream big. Like many young race car drivers across the country, Gray’s hopes and dreams would be to someday race full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series. But only so many rides are available in the upper levels of NASCAR racing, and Gray’s studying hard and getting a good, quality college education at ETSU to insure him of making a good living once his school days are over.