Brainerd: Dave Grubnic preview

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team hope to go three for three in celebrations in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 6, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that he and...

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team hope to go three for three in celebrations in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 6, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, is hoping that he and his team have a few reasons to celebrate in Brainerd, Minn., this weekend, Aug. 7-10, at the annual running of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event at Brainerd Int'l Raceway.

Today, Aug. 6, is Grubnic's 46th birthday. His next elimination-round win will be the 150th of his 14-year Top Fuel career, and his next NHRA national event win will be the third of his venerable career.

"Wow. I hadn't thought about all the possibilities we have this weekend," Grubnic, a resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "Of course, the most important of those three is getting the win. Our DHL team works so hard to give me a great race car and if we get the win in Brainerd, I can celebrate all three things with all of them. That would be fantastic."

Grubnic's best performance thus far this season was a runner-up finish in Phoenix in February.

Grubnic is currently in 9th place in POWERade championship points.

Beginning with the 13th event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile, as a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world's quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently. The unprecedented action is in response to the tragic death of Kalitta Motorsports' Scott Kalitta, who died in a high-speed Funny Car qualifying accident in Englishtown, N.J., June 21.

Grubnic, unofficially, recorded the quickest 1,000-ft. elapsed time of the 2008 season, 3.783 sec., in Madison, Ill., in early May.

In early 2004, Grubnic was hired to drive for legendary team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta and Kalitta Motorsports. In the fall of '04, Grubnic won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt. Grubnic picked up an emotional first NHRA national event win in May, 2005 in Topeka, Kans., to become the first non-native North American to win a Top Fuel trophy. He has one other event victory to date, the 2006 running of the famed Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta