Pomona: Kalitta Motorsports Saturday summary

Grubnic qualifies No. 2 in Pomona for NHRA season opener; Teammates Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 3 and No. 7 respectively Pomona, Calif., 2/12/05 -- At the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series 2005 season opener, the CARQUEST Auto...

Grubnic qualifies No. 2 in Pomona for NHRA season opener; Teammates Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 3 and No. 7 respectively

Pomona, Calif., 2/12/05 -- At the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series 2005 season opener, the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Raceway Saturday, Kalitta Motorsports' NHRA-only, three-car Top Fuel dragster team qualified all three race cars in the top-half of the field in the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 7 for Sunday's 16- car final eliminations field, which is the quickest Top Fuel field in NHRA history.

Australian native "Aussie Dave" Grubnic, 42, drove his black and blue Zantrex-3 dragster into the No. 2 qualifying spot with a great 4.464-sec., 327.35-mph lap in Saturday's final qualifying session. The run was the quickest ever for Grubnic and his team. He will face No. 15 qualifier Rod Fuller in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.

"We're very excited," Grubnic said about his final qualifying run. "That was great run. It picked the front end up and then sat it down. When Connie's (Kalitta, team owner and crew chief) power and clutch hit it and picked up the front again, the steering wheel went loose on me and it stayed that way for about 500 ft. I was thankful that it stayed in the groove and trucked on through there. It was just fantastic."

Scott Kalitta, 42, qualified his Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster in the No. 3 spot. Scott's best qualifying effort of 4.470 sec. at 329.99 mph was the quickest effort ever for him and his team. He will face No. 14 qualifier Scott Weis in the first round of eliminations.

"It feels good to start out the year well," Scott said. "Tomorrow's another day and it's a whole new year, but our team is off to a great start in qualifying, and hopefully, we can start off the season with a win tomorrow."

Doug Kalitta, 40, driver of the bright red Mac Tools flagship dragster, qualified No. 7. His best qualifying run of 4.498 sec. at 332.02 mph sets up a first match up with No. 10 qualifier Clay Millican tomorrow. Doug's car lost its blower belt late in the final qualifying run and quashed what looked like a possible track record-setting pass.

"Our Mac Tools team feels pretty good," Doug said. "I think we left some on the table though. Our car can run better, so we will get it tuned up and hopefully go for a win tomorrow."

Final eliminations for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals begin at 11:00 a.m. (PST) Sunday morning.

-km-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Scott Weis , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Rod Fuller , Jesse James