Team DHL bows out early in NHRA Finals

POMONA, Calif., (Nov. 13, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, and his DHL/Kalitta Motorsports teammate and native Canadian Jeff Arend, driver of the Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, both saw their respective race days end in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations of the season-ending Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.).

Grubnic, a 46-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., and the No. 12 qualifier, took on the No. 5 qualifier Brandon Bernstein in the first round of the 16-car Top Fuel eliminations. Both drivers had problems keeping their mounts "stuck" to the racing surface as both cars suffered traction problems, but in the end it was Bernstein who tire-smoked his way to the finish line first, 5.273 sec., 128.59 mph to 4.026 sec., 276.80 mph.

Grubnic finished the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag racing Series in tenth place in POWERade points.

Arend, a 44-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., and the No. 16 qualifier, ran his best run of the event in the opening stanza of the Funny Car class eliminations, but it was not enough to overtake his opponent, the No. 1 qualifier Mike Neff, 4.193 sec., 289.63 mph to 4.076 sec., 307.72 mph.

-credit: km