Dave Grubnic and the Zantrex-3 team suffer Sonoma setback
SONOMA, Calif., (July 29, 2007) -- During the opening round of final eliminations Sunday at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Dave Grubnic and the Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster team saw their dreams of winning in wine country go up in smoke.
Grubnic, the No. 14 qualifier, faced No. 3 qualifier Rod Fuller when the racing festivities began in Sonoma. Both drivers launched their racing rails with identical .09-second reaction times when the "tree" went green, but the Zantrex-3 machine starting losing traction and smoking its big rear tires at approximately 300 feet down the quarter-mile and that let Fuller go on to get the win light, 5.788 seconds, 161.29 mph to 4.553 sec., 325.92 mph.
"We just missed it," Grubnic, a 44-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "There were a lot of good race cars smoking the tires out there in round one, and unfortunately, it bit us too. We've only got a couple of races left before the Countdown cut-off, so we need to go to Brainerd (next event) and get our Zantrex-3 car into some rounds."
This season the NHRA instituted the new Countdown to the Championship points system. Only the top eight in POWERade points after the first 17 national events will be allowed to vie for the season championship. This weekend's event was the 15th of the season.
Grubnic remains in 8th place in POWERade championship points.