Norwalk: Jeff Arend preview

Jeff Arend and the DHL Funny Car team inching closer to first round win together NORWALK, Ohio, (June 25, 2009) -- The competition in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is thunderous and almost-incomprehensibly fast. Sometimes races are...

Jeff Arend and the DHL Funny Car team inching closer to first round win together

NORWALK, Ohio, (June 25, 2009) -- The competition in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is thunderous and almost-incomprehensibly fast. Sometimes races are won and lost by micro-fractions of a second and mere inches at the finish line of a 1,000-ft. drag strip. Jeff Arend, driver of the 8,000-horsepower, bright yellow DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, participated in one of the closest races in recent history at the previous NHRA national event in New Jersey.

In the opening round of Sunday's eliminations in the Garden State, Arend paired up with Bob Tasca III. By the time the two drivers reached the 1,000-ft. marker less than 4.2 seconds later, Arend, by less than two inches, crossed the line as the runner-up. Arend now sees that race as a metaphor for his driving tenure at Kalitta Motorsports, and that has him more optimistic than ever going into this weekend's, June 25-28, annual running of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

"Ever since I joined Kalitta Motorsports last August we've been improving our performance," Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. "The process has been slower than we want or anticipated, but our DHL car just keeps creeping up the performance ladder, and we know now that we are very close to where we need to be.

"Our entire team has worked so hard to make our race car improve. I can't say enough good things about the men that work on our crew and our crew chiefs, Jon "O" (Oberhofer) and Nicky (Boninfante), and our leader Connie (Kalitta, team owner and head tuner). I'm very confident that we'll get our first round-win together this weekend in Norwalk. We're all hungry for it and we're all ready to get one under our belts so we can get a lot more together."

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeff Arend , Bob Tasca III