St. Louis: Dave Grubnic final report

Dave Grubnic and the St. Louis Carpenters' Union team hammer home a quarter-final finish in St. Louis MADISON, Ill., (May 4, 2008) -- Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just across ...

Dave Grubnic and the St. Louis Carpenters' Union team hammer home a quarter-final finish in St. Louis

MADISON, Ill., (May 4, 2008) -- Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, native Australian Top Fuel dragster driver Dave Grubnic, driving this weekend for the St. Louis Carpenters' Union,

For the first time since the 2005 NHRA Gatornationals event in Gainesville, Fla., Grubnic went into eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier. Grubnic's booming blast of 4.467 seconds, 326.32 mph down the quarter-mile not only gave him the top qualifying slot, but it also set a new track record at GIR for elapsed time and is the quickest ET recorded by in driver in any class so far this season in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

In round one, Grubnic had no problems getting by his first opponent and No. 16 qualifier Luigi Novelli (5.772 sec., 161.25 mph). Novelli's dragster lost traction almost immediately after the race started and Grubnic cruised down his lane to get the win light, 4.542 sec., 321.19 mph to 13.386 sec., 92.94 mph. In the quarterfinals, Grubnic and his St. Louis Carpenters' Union team rolled to the starting line to race against Rod Fuller. Both drivers charged down the track side-by-side until Grubnic's rail starting losing traction near half-track and that let Fuller get the victory, 5.074 sec., 209.69 mph to 4.570 sec., 325.45 mph.

"All-in-all it was a good weekend for us and the St. Louis Carpenters' Union," Grubnic, a 45-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "Being No. 1 qualifier was certainly uplifting to me and our whole Kalitta Motorsports team. Of course, we're disappointed we couldn't go for the win, but still a good outing for us. Having the quickest run of the year up on the bulletin board feels pretty special, too. "

Grubnic is remains in 9th place in POWERade Top Fuel championship points.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Luigi Novelli , Rod Fuller