"Aussie Dave" Grubnic looks forward to Atlanta NHRA event by putting the past in its place Commerce, Ga., May 11, 2005 - At the previous NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in Bristol, Tenn., Kalitta Motorsports' "Aussie...
"Aussie Dave" Grubnic looks forward to Atlanta NHRA event by putting the past in its place
Commerce, Ga., May 11, 2005 - At the previous NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event in Bristol, Tenn., Kalitta Motorsports' "Aussie Dave" Grubnic did his teammate Doug Kalitta two big favors. The first, beating then Top Fuel points leader Tony Schumacher in the first round of eliminations, was swift and deliberate. The win over Schumacher helped Kalitta eventually take over the championship points lead and helped Grubnic secure a position in the top five in points. The second favor, a red-lighting foul start while racing Kalitta in round two, was undoubtedly unintentional and regrettable for the 11-year quarter-mile veteran.
This weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, just east of downtown Atlanta in Commerce, Ga., Grubnic hopes to move further into the top five in points and forget about the recent past at a race track that has been reasonably kind to the almost always-affable native Australian, including a No.1 qualifier award last season.
"I want to put the whole red-light deal behind me now," Grubnic said. "The last thing I want to say about it is that it was not a dive. I've heard that some of the fans and media thought that I intentionally red-lighted so Doug could get the points lead. That is absolutely not true. Our team has sponsors too and we would never do that to them or even ourselves. We are running to win every round we can. There were no team orders. I just simply jumped the gun.
"Now, let's talk about Atlanta.
"I've always done fairly decent at Atlanta. Before I joined the Kalittas, I raced here with under-funded, but good, teams, and we always seemed to qualify well and go a couple rounds on Sunday. Last year, we were No. 1 qualifier. Hopefully, we can do the same this year and race some rounds in eliminations.
"We're back in the top five in points, and we want to stay there. We're just four (points) away from fourth and only 39 away from the top three. We need to forget the past and move on and hopefully up in the points."
Grubnic, 42, who won the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event last fall in Las Vegas, drives a striking black and electric blue flame-decorated rail under the banner of Zantrex-3. He has made seven final-round appearances in his career but has yet to score his first NHRA national event win. He has made semi-final appearances in three out of six events so far this season (Pomona 1, Phoenix and Las Vegas 1).His career-best elapsed time is 4.448 sec., and his career-best speed is 333.58 mph. He is in his second season with Kalitta Motorsports.
Kalitta Motorsports, which includes Grubnic's teammates Doug Kalitta and Scott Kalitta, has made four final-round appearances in the first six NHRA national events of 2005 with three wins (Doug - 2, Scott - 1).
The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals begins Friday, May 13, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations.
The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals is the seventh of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.
Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster).
Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.