Seattle: Dave Grubnic preview

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team see Seattle as a springboard to secure Countdown bid SEATTLE, Wash., (July 16, 2008) -- This weekend, July 18-20, native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the 8,000-horsepower, bright yellow DHL Top Fuel dragster,...

Dave Grubnic and the DHL team see Seattle as a springboard to secure Countdown bid

SEATTLE, Wash., (July 16, 2008) -- This weekend, July 18-20, native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the 8,000-horsepower, bright yellow DHL Top Fuel dragster, heads to the Great Northwest with his team clinging to a critical top ten position in championship points for the annual running of the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals, the 14th event of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., just a few miles southeast of downtown Seattle.

Only the top ten pro drivers in points in their respective classes will be eligible for the 2008 Countdown to the Championship that begins at the 19th event in Concord, N.C. Grubnic is currently in 10th place in POWERade points, just 30 points ahead of the driver in 11th position.

"It's getting down to the wire now and we really need to start going rounds on Sunday," Grubnic, a 45-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "Our DHL dragster is one of the best performing cars on the tour, but we've had some bad breaks and some struggles with consistency. I'm very confident in Connie (Kalitta, crew chief and team owner) and our whole DHL team that we'll pick up some wins and make the Countdown. Hopefully we'll take a step toward that goal with a win this weekend in Seattle."

Beginning with the previous event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile, as a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world's quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently. The unprecedented action is in response to the tragic death of Kalitta Motorsports' Scott Kalitta, who died in a high-speed Funny Car qualifying accident in Englishtown, N.J., June 21.

"Drag racing is drag racing, whether it's to a quarter-mile finish line or to a 1000-ft. finish line. There is still a winner and a loser, and that's one of the most exciting aspects of our sport, so as long as the safety of the drivers is the highest priority we'll do what we always try to do and that's win races, no matter the length."

Grubnic, unofficially, recorded the quickest 1,000-ft. elapsed time of the 2008 season, 3.783 sec., in Madison, Ill., in early May.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta