Bristol: Dave Grubnic final report

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team upset early in Thunder Valley BRISTOL, Tenn., (May 18, 2008) -- Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., native Australian Dave Grubnic, driving under the banner of...

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team upset early in Thunder Valley

BRISTOL, Tenn., (May 18, 2008) -- Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., native Australian Dave Grubnic, driving under the banner of DHL for today's Top Fuel eliminations, saw his chances of winning the title trophy in the Tennessee hills shake, rattle and roll away in a round one upset.

Grubnic's 8,000-horsepower rail entry began the weekend of racing in Thunder Valley in its familiar black bodywork, but took on the bolder yellow and red paint scheme for DHL as eliminations began today for the 16-car Top Fuel field.

Grubnic, the No. 2 qualifier, 4.526 seconds, 311.85 mph, rolled to the starting line to race No. 15 qualifier Troy Buff, 7.602 sec., 126.90 mph, as Top Fuel racing down the famed quarter-mile got underway. After the "tree" went green, Grubnic and Buff were side-by-side until about 300 ft. down the track and that's when Grubnic's DHL machine went into traction-depriving tire shake. Grubnic quickly got his car to recover, but by then Buff had pulled away and Grubnic could not chase him down at the finish line. Buff got the upset win, 4.873 sec., 314.83 mph to 4.666 sec., 313.58 mph.

"The track was really tricky out there today," Grubnic, a 45-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "We just missed the set-up a tiny bit, and that was enough to end our day early. We had a pretty good weekend, all things considered. We qualified well and the race car is being fairly consistent so we're definitely not hanging our heads about anything."

"It's great for us to be able to represent DHL again today. They are a wonderful partner for all of us here at Kalitta Motorsports. They've been the primary sponsor on our team's Funny Car that Scott Kalitta drives for a while now and they've just been a tremendous asset to all of us. It's a great partnership that looks to be expanding with our team in the very near future."

Grubnic is in 9th place in POWERade Top Fuel championship points.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Troy Buff