Brainerd: Dave Grubnic preview

Dave Grubnic and the Zantrex-3 team to try for best balance in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the black and electric blue-flamed Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, knows that a good performance...

Dave Grubnic and the Zantrex-3 team to try for best balance in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the black and electric blue-flamed Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, knows that a good performance this weekend's, Aug. 9-12, annual running of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int'l Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., is vital for maintaining their hopes of winning the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel championship.

"We have to maintain a proper balance," Grubnic, a 45-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "We're racers, so we're greedy by nature. We have to balance that with what's best for us to stay consistent throughout the weekend and hopefully move up in the points. It's all about balance in Brainerd."

This season the NHRA instituted the new Countdown to the Championship points system. Only the top eight in POWERade points after the first 17 national events will be allowed to vie for the season championship. This weekend's event is the 16th of the season.

Going into this weekend's event at Brainerd Int'l Raceway, Grubnic is in 8th place in points. He is 45 points ahead of 9th place.

Grubnic was the Top Fuel runner-up in Brainerd in 2004. He also celebrated his 45th birthday, Monday, Aug. 6, 2007.

In early 2004, Grubnic was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports. Since joining Team Kalitta, Grubnic has posted consecutive top-five championship points finishes. In the fall of 2004, he 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.

The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals begins Friday, Aug. 10, for the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes with one qualifying session at 3:30 p.m. (CT), and then another qualifying session at 6:15 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at noon and 2:45 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

-credit: km

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