Memphis: Dave Grubnic preview

NHRA Top Fuel driver Dave Grubnic set to see more win lights in Memphis MEMPHIS, Tenn., (Aug. 15, 2006) -- For Top Fuel journeyman and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the pink and black, 8,000-horsepower StriVectin-SD dragster, the...

NHRA Top Fuel driver Dave Grubnic set to see more win lights in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn., (Aug. 15, 2006) -- For Top Fuel journeyman and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the pink and black, 8,000-horsepower StriVectin-SD dragster, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' annual stop at Memphis Motorsports Park for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Millington, Tenn., just north of downtown Memphis, has often caused the usually cheerful Aussie to sing the Blues in the Bluff City. Grubnic has yet to advance past the 2nd round at MMP in his storied racing career. This weekend, Aug. 18-20, Grubnic is highly optimistic that his round-winning drought in the Mississippi Delta will finally be squelched with a Top Fuel title.

"We can win there," Grubnic said. "I don't mean just go rounds either. I mean we can go win the whole thing. Our StriVectin-SD car has been running awesome in the previous few events, so I'm looking for four [elimination-round] wins lights Sunday, not just two or three."

"It's usually very hot in Memphis, and I've heard it will be again this year. We'll have to get a good handle on the tune-up early in qualifying. If we can do that, we'll be in good shape to run for the money on Sunday."

Grubnic has twice entered final eliminations at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at the top of the Top Fuel qualifying ladder, 1999 and 2004.

In early 2004, Grubnic, a 43-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports after several years of driving for teams with minimal funding. Since joining Team Kalitta, Grubnic, now in his 12th season as a Top Fuel driver, has posted consecutive top-five championship points finishes. In 2004, he won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's 20-year history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt. In May, 2005, in Topeka, Kans., he became the first non-native North American to win an NHRA national event in Top Fuel. He also won the prestigious Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in March of this year.

The O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals begins Friday, Aug. 18, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions at 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (CT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 3:00 p.m.

All times and dates subject to change.

The O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals is the 17th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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