St. Louis: Kalitta Motorsports final summary

Dave Grubnic reaches quarter-final round in St. Louis; Teammates Doug and Scott Kalitta go out in the first round MADISON, Ill., (May 6, 2007) -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just across ...

Dave Grubnic reaches quarter-final round in St. Louis; Teammates Doug and Scott Kalitta go out in the first round

MADISON, Ill., (May 6, 2007) -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Int'l Raceway in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, native Australian and NHRA fan-favorite Dave Grubnic made his fourth quarter-final round appearance in the seventh event of the 2007 POWERade Drag Racing Series Sunday.

Grubnic, driver of the black and electric blue, 8,000-horsepower Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, qualified for Sunday's 16-car Top Fuel eliminations field in the No. 5 spot, his best qualifying position of 2007. He defeated No. 12 qualifier Scott Palmer in round one, but it wasn't a picture-perfect lap for either driver. Palmer's rail had problems almost immediately after the start of the race and was not able to complete the race, stopping before half-track. Grubnic's Zantrex-3 dragster experienced traction problems early in the run, but the venerable veteran Grubnic was able to get his rocket on wheels to recover to cross the finish line in 5.885 sec., at 309.34 mph.

In the quarterfinals, Grubnic's dragster again had traction problems on the hot and slick racing surface at GIR. However, in this case, Grubnic's opponent Cory McClenathan had no problems navigating the straight course to end the Zantrex-3 team's day, 5.282 sec., 235.06 mph to 4.625 sec., 322.81 mph.

Grubnic's Top Fuel teammate Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools dragster, qualified in the No. 15 position for eliminations. Doug and his Mac Tools dragster blasted down the race track in round one side by side with his opponent Bob Vandergriff Jr., the No. 2 qualifier. Unfortunately, Doug crossed the finish line on the losing end of the closest race of the opening round of Top Fuel, 4.721 sec., 309.13 mph to 4.661 sec., 313.44 mph. The margin of victory at the quarter-mile stripe for Vandergriff Jr. was a mere .0468 seconds.

Doug's Cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the yellow and red DHL Toyota Solara Nitro Funny Car, qualified No. 9 for the Funny Car final eliminations field. Scott faced off against No. 9 qualifier Gary Scelzi in the flopper's first round. Scott and Scelzi raced neck-and-neck down the track after the green lights flashed, but Scott's DHL mount began losing valuable traction at about half track, and that let Scelzi get the upper hand and the win light, 5.645 sec., 179.16 mph to 4.841 sec., 321.50 mph.

Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 13 position for eliminations. She lost her first round match-up against McClenathan.

The O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals was the 7th of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Scott Palmer , Bob Vandergriff , Hillary Will , Ken Black