Dave Grubnic makes third semi-final round of 2007 in Topeka; Teammates and cousins Doug and Scott Kalitta make quarter-final appearances TOPEKA, Kan., (June 3, 2007) -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., native Australian...
Dave Grubnic makes third semi-final round of 2007 in Topeka; Teammates and cousins Doug and Scott Kalitta make quarter-final appearances
TOPEKA, Kan., (June 3, 2007) -- At the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., native Australian Dave Grubnic used a bit of Aussie luck to garner his third semi-final round showing of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in Sunday's Top Fuel final eliminations at Heartland Park Topeka.
Grubnic, driver of the 8,000-horsepower Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster, qualified for eliminations in the No. 9 slot. In his opening round duel with Morgan Lucas, both dragsters struggled to maintain valuable traction under the sunny skies of the Heartland. Grubnic was able to maintain enough grip on the quarter-mile to pick up the round win, 6.028 seconds, 244.25 mph to 10.153 sec., 67.59 mph. Grubnic then faced Cory McClenathan in the quarterfinals. Again, both dragsters had problems with tires spinning and smoking, but again, Grubnic was able to helm his black and blue Zantrex-3 entry to another win light, 5.559 sec., 229.04 mph to 5.961 sec., 247.70 mph.
In the semifinals, Grubnic and his nitro-fueled machine rolled to the starting line to face J.R. Todd. This time out Grubnic once more had to battle with the increasingly slicker racing conditions at HPT, but Todd in the other lane fared better to get the win and end Grubnic's day of racing, 5.086 sec., 293.09 mph to 4.672 sec., 305.36 mph.
Grubnic moves up one position in POWERade points to 7th place.
Grubnic's Top Fuel teammate Doug Kalitta, driver of the bright red Mac Tools dragster, qualified for Sunday's 16-car final eliminations field in the No. 13 spot. Doug made his best lap of the weekend and the quickest of the Top Fuel opening round in defeating his initial opponent and points leader Rod Fuller in a great side-by-side run, 4.549 sec., 325.85 mph to 4.581 sec., 323.19 mph. The victory for Doug was the 319th of his 10-year career, which has now seen him compete in 500 NHRA Top Fuel final elimination rounds.
Doug seemed to be on his way to face his Aussie teammate in the semifinals racing against Todd, but his Mac Tools rail began spinning the tires ever so slightly after the half-track marks and that caused the 500 cubic-inch engine of his race car to rev higher and eventually expire early as Todd passed "Big Red" to get the win, 5.081 sec., 203.68 mph to 4.639 sec., 288.83 mph.
Doug also moves up one position in championship points to 11th. He now sits just 83 points shy of the critical 8th place position in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. Only the top eight Top Fuelers in points will be able to compete for the season championship after the first 17 events.
Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the yellow and red DHL Toyota Solara Nitro Funny Car, also made a quarter-final appearance in the Funny Car class. Scott qualified his flopper in the No. 9 position for eliminations and defeated Jeff Arend in round one, 5.101 sec., 259.46 mph to 5.144 sec., 276.24 mph. The round win was Scott's second of 2007.
In the next round, Scott battled Robert Hight in another very close drag race, but he came just a few inches short of picking up his third round win of the season as Hight got the victory, 5.044 sec., 294.11 to 5.031 sec., 284.81 mph.
Hillary Will, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports-managed, Ken Black-owned KB Racing LLC Top Fueler, qualified in the No. 11 position for eliminations. She lost to Brandon Bernstein in round one.