St. Louis: Dave Grubnic preview

NHRA Top Fueler Dave Grubnic set to surge in points in St. Louis MADISON, Ill., (May 2, 2007) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the black and blue Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, finds himself in a precarious place in the POWERade ...

NHRA Top Fueler Dave Grubnic set to surge in points in St. Louis

MADISON, Ill., (May 2, 2007) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the black and blue Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, finds himself in a precarious place in the POWERade points as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads west this weekend, May 4-6, to Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway.

Grubnic and his Zantrex-3 team are currently in 8th place in championship points. What makes that position so important is the new Countdown to the Championship format that NHRA instituted for the 2007 racing season and beyond. Only the top eight points holders will be eligible to compete for the season championship after the first 17 national events.

"We're hanging right in there," Grubnic, a 44-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "It's still really early in the season to be thinking about the Countdown, but sure, it's in the back of our minds. As long as we stay on top of that No. 8 line, there's nothing to think about really. Hopefully we can move up a few spots, and we won't have to worry at all.

"We made the final round in St. Louis in 2004, but we unfortunately lost. We got beat by our teammate (Doug Kalitta) so that took a bit of the sting out. I like racing in St. Louis. This year it should be even better since we're not going there in the middle of the summer like we have in years past. I'm looking forward to hopefully putting our Zantrex-3 dragster in the winner's circle there."

In early 2004, Grubnic was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports. Since joining the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based multi-car nitro team, Grubnic has posted consecutive top-five championship points finishes. In the fall of 2004, he won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt, and he picked up an emotional first NHRA national event win in May, 2005 in Topeka, Kans., to become the first non-native North American to win a Top Fuel trophy.

The O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals begins Friday, May 4, for the Top Fuel class with one qualifying session at 5:00 p.m. (CT), and then another qualifying session at 7:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta