Team Kalitta Readies for Reading Hoping to Rebound from Dallas
READING, Pa. (Sept. 28, 2011) – After three of the nitro-fueled Team Kalitta race cars were unexpectedly eliminated in the opening round of race day eliminations at the previous event in Dallas last weekend, Kalitta Motorsports drivers Doug Kalitta, Jeff Arend, and David Grubnic are all hoping to fare better in the Keystone State this weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at the annual running of the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at historic Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.
Kalitta, a 47 year-old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., drives the Technicoat Top Fuel dragster for Team Kalitta. He is currently in seventh place in Top Fuel Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points, 135 points away from the top spot. Kalitta has three semi-final showing thus far in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series (Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Topeka, Kan.).
Kalitta hoisted the Top Fuel title trophy in Reading in 2002. He was the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier at Maple Grove Raceway in 2004.
Native Canadian Arend, driver of the DHL Funny Car, is a 48-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif. He has very fond memories of Reading as it was the site of his first career NHRA Funny Car in 1996.
Arend is currently tied (John Force) for eighth place in Funny Car Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points, 149 points away from the leader. He and the DHL team have one win thus far this season (Houston). This year marks the first time in his 17-year Funny Car career that Arend will finish in the top ten in points.
Native Australian Grubnic, a 48-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., drives the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster, helmed by team owner, drag racing legend and crew chief Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. Grubnic is currently in ninth place in Top Fuel Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points, 203 points away from the top spot.
Grubnic has one final-round showing thus far in 2011 (Chicago). In 2005, he earned his first career victory at Topeka, becoming the first racer born outside North America to win a NHRA Top Fuel event.
Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, made her professional debut at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas. DeJoria and her newly-formed Kalitta Motorsports team barely missed qualifying for the ultra-competitive 16-car Funny Car eliminations field in the No. 17 position.
DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team will compete next at the NHRA Nationals in Phoenix, October 14-16.