Bristol: Kalitta Motorsport final report

Kalitta and Grubnic make quarter-final runs for Team Kalitta in Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn., (July 8, 2007) -- Top Fuel dragster teammates Doug Kalitta and Dave Grubnic both made the quarterfinals of final eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder ...

Kalitta and Grubnic make quarter-final runs for Team Kalitta in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn., (July 8, 2007) -- Top Fuel dragster teammates Doug Kalitta and Dave Grubnic both made the quarterfinals of final eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., Sunday.

Doug, driver of the Mac Tools dragster and the No. 5 qualifier, had won the previous two annual events in Bristol. He started his day of eliminations by defeating No. 12 qualifier Morgan Lucas, 4.630 seconds, 324.20 mph to 4.736 sec., 311.41 mph, in a close opening-round drag race.

In the quarterfinals, Doug matched up against current POWERade points leader Rod Fuller. Doug and his 8,000-horsepower "Big Red" machine unfortunately turned on the big red bulb with a foul start (-.004 sec.) and that let Fuller automatically get the round win. Doug and Fuller are now 2-2 against one another in 2007 elimination rounds.

Doug moved up one position in POWERade Top Fuel points from 12th to 11th. He is now only 31 points shy of the important No. 8 spot.

This season the NHRA instituted a 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.

Team Kalitta dragster pilot and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 rail, qualified in the No. 15 spot. He raced No. 2 qualifier Whit Bazemore in round one. Grubnic drove the Zantrex-3 machine to the on-paper upset when Bazemore's mount lost traction on the quarter-mile, 4.659 sec., 298.01 mph to 15.205 sec., 67.33 mph.

In his quarter-final race, Grubnic and his opponent Larry Dixon were neck-and-neck on the drag strip until approximately 300 ft., when Grubnic's race car began slipping and sliding on the hot Bristol Dragway surface and Dixon was able to pull away to get the win, 5.351 sec., 234.78 mph to 4.686 sec., 296.57 mph.

Grubnic moved down one point in points from 6th to 7th.

Doug's Cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, qualified his flopper machine in the No. 12 spot. Scott raced perennial Funny Car world champion and No. 5 qualifier John Force in round one. In a battle of wily NHRA vets, Force was able to get the win, 5.984 sec., 159.42 mph to 4.864 sec., 307.65 mph.

Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 9 position for Sunday's eliminations in Bristol. She was defeated in round one by J.R. Todd.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Scott Kalitta , Morgan Lucas , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will , J.R. Todd , Ken Black