Memphis: Grubnic, Arend preview

NHRA's Team DHL is ready to Rock n' Roll in Memphis MILLINGTON, Tenn., (Sept. 23, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, enters this weekend's, Sept. 26-28, ...

NHRA's Team DHL is ready to Rock n' Roll in Memphis

MILLINGTON, Tenn., (Sept. 23, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, enters this weekend's, Sept. 26-28, annual running of the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Millington, Tenn., just a few miles north of downtown Memphis, knows it's a long way to the top, but he and his team are ready to flick the switch at Memphis Motorsports Park.

At the previous NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event in Dallas, Grubnic and the DHL dragster team suffered their first failure to qualify for eliminations of the year. The setback placed the team 272 points away from the POWERade championship points leader, but the ever-affable Aussie is not ready to give up on his 2008 championship hopes just yet.

"We're down, but we're not out yet," Grubnic, a 46-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., "That's what's so great about NHRA drag racing. We could string together two or three wins here at the end and have a chance. You just never know. Our DHL car is capable of running stellar numbers every time we pull up to the line, so I would never, ever count us out."

Grubnic is in 10th place in points and in the NHRA Countdown to 1 postseason. Including Memphis, there are four events remaining in the 2008 Countdown to the Championship.

Native Canadian Jeff Arend, driver of the Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is hoping that a caress of steel on the DHL flopper this weekend in the Bluff City will cast the limelight upon him and his team with a trip to the MMP winner's circle.

"Our DHL Funny Car just keeps making better and better laps," Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. "We qualified strong (9th) in Dallas and made a good lap in the first round, even though we came up on the losing end.

"We just keep tweaking small things on the DHL car, and it's responding how we expect it to almost every single time we adjust something, so that's a big step in the right direction of getting some round wins and hopefully picking up a Wally (trophy) before the end of the year."

Arend and other stars of the world's fastest motorsport will be signing autographs at the annual Memphis Fan Fest at Coyote Ugly on historic Beale Street Thursday night beginning at 7:00 (CT) p.m.

Qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals begins Friday for the Nitro-fueled classes with two qualifying sessions at 4:00 p.m. (CT) and 6:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions take place Saturday at noon and 3:00 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeff Arend