AUS: Boxing Day final summary

2-Time NHRA Champion Scott Kalitta Defeated fellow Top Fuel Superstar Dave Grubnic in the fastest side-by-side Top Fuel pass ever in Australian Drag Racing History Wednesday, 28 December 2005 - (Sydney, NSW) Whilst the first day of the USA...

2-Time NHRA Champion Scott Kalitta Defeated fellow Top Fuel Superstar Dave Grubnic in the fastest side-by-side Top Fuel pass ever in Australian Drag Racing History

Wednesday, 28 December 2005 - (Sydney, NSW) Whilst the first day of the USA Versus Australia Boxing Day Top Fuel Bonanza, supported by the Morris Iemma New South Wales State Government provided some world class Elapsed Time efforts in the form of NHRA Sup erstar Dave Grubnic's Earth Shattering 4.657 second pass at almost 520 kilometres per hour (kmh), Yesterday's final salvo for Top Fuel was all about RACING...and boy did all the Nitro Warriors race...and race hard, thanks to Nulon Engine Oils!

The sweltering track temperature (at times reaching 55 degrees Celsius) and oppressive humidity almost assured that no records would be set. However many seasoned pundits suggested when all was said and done on this amazing event at Western Sydney International Dragway, this two-day showcase could well stand as the finest spectacle of world-class Top Fuel Drag racing ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere.

The skill and class was not just restricted to the American Interlopers Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta and their crews either...

The first round of Nulon Top Fuel Eliminator saw all 8 cars get down the track and the huge WSID crowd on hand were all very vocal and appreciative of their efforts.

To see Austra lian Champion Darren Morgan two-step in his win over a similarly impressive throttle-stepping Phil Read in the first round was a marvelous spectacle.

Not to be outdone by these two fresh Aussie Top Fuel faces, Terry Sainty and Bob Shepherd also impressed and amazed, running low 5-second passes despite the track searing heat.

However, it is the professionalism and polish of the NHRA Superstars in Dave Grubnic and Scott Kalitta that shone like a beacon throughout the brutal second day of racing that left all and sundry in awe.

Kalitta and 'Aussie Dave' posted remarkable 4-second and 300 mile-per-hour runs in the blazing Aussie summer-sun, with the Strivectin-SD machine of Grubnic leaving everyone shaking their heads in disbelief at a 4.809 run at over 315mph!

"I know we all loved seeing that 4.6 second run by Grubnic yesterday...but the run of the event had to be that 4.8 by was simply awesome and how good is Jim Oberhofer his crew chief to o...simply grouse to watch all that," remarked Aussie Champ Morgan on what unfolded by the superstars of World Drag Racing.

Morgan then had to take on Scott Kalitta in semi-finals, with once again a superb display of skill by the both drivers as they two and then three-stepped their rockets down the quarter mile. Kalitta prevailed over the Lamattina Rail in a master-class of Top Fuel driving ahead of a far-from-disgraced Morgan in the Fuchs Lubricants machine.

The second semi-final saw Luke Shepherd take on Grubnic, with Shepherd encountering trouble early, handing a win to Grubnic who produced a terrific run with a re-step of the throttle past 900feet to still run 5.2 seconds at nearly 300mph!

This left the final showdown as a promoter's delight - the two NHRA Superstars of Top Fuel - Scott Kalitta against Dave Grubnic in a final stoush under the WSID night lights in front of a massive crowd!

Grubnic with lane choice, had the holeshot and stepped out a strong advantage despite dropping a cylinder on the hit of the throttle and then subsequently tossed the blower belt at 900feet to suddenly hand the narrowest of wins to his American team-mate in the fastest side-by-side Top Fuel pass ever in Australian Drag Racing History!

The crowd erupted at what had been witnessed...Kalitta ran 4.788 to Grubnic's fading but still fast only 259 miles per hour!

"Congratulations to Scott and his team, we had a hell of a run going there before tossing the blower belt, our indicators showed we were good things for a very low 4.6 or high 4.5 second pass on that run, but it wasn't to be," said Grubnic as the gracious loser in a remarkable final.

That aside, Grubnic has endeared himself to a legion of fans in Sydney who all hope to see him back next year!

"The fan support and encouragement has been amazing, how well we have been treated here too has been great, thanks to everybody involved and it ha s been a dream come true to race here in my home country."

Scott Kalitta - a man normally known for being very reserved and coy when it comes to speaking to the media, was very affable and relaxed throughout this Top Fuel event and came back to huge cheers on the return road after winning the final.

"It was a great event to be a part of, this is a great place to race and I have really enjoyed being here," remarked the event winner and two-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion.

Kalitta seemed caught up in the fan-appreciation he has received throughout the Boxing Day Top Fuel showdown too...

"The people here have been so nice and we have been looked after by Santo Rapisarda and his has been a privilege to race here in Australia in front of all these fans...the support from everybody has been great."

In other action, American Autos Top Alcohol was brilliant and brutal once again as always, with bracket superstar Gary Phillips defeating Ben Br ay in the final.

The Rocket Industries Top Doorslammer Shootout was a crowd-favourite, with an impressive final match-up between Maurice Fabietti in the Holden Genuine Parts Monaro defeated by Deno Brijeski in his beautiful Monaro. Despite finishing-up in the Sand Traps in the deep portion of the track, Deno was all smiles at securing his first ever event win in Doorslammer.

Final Round Results

Champion: Scott Kalitta 4.768secs 298.21mph
Runner Up: Dave Grubnic 4.805 259.66
Top Qualifier: Dave Grubnic 4.657 321.58

Champion: Gary Phillips 5.772 243.99
Runner Up: Ben Bray 6.002 246.21
Top Qualifier: Brett Stevens 5.640 255.92

Champion: Deno Brijeski 6.300 227.50
Runner Up: Maurice Fabietti 8.470 120.61
Top Qualifier: M. Fabietti 6.217 232.35

Champion: Andrew Ho dgson 7.817 132.99
Runner Up: Michael Watkins 7.496 167.34
Top Qualifier: L. Churchill 7.113 196.59

Champion: Darryl Stephen 9.927 142.93
Runner Up: Neil Hendry 9.846 141.76
Top Qualifier: J. Catanzariti 9.914 139.99

Champion: Chris Soldatos 7.352 163.93
Runner Up: Craig Geddes 7.958 231.36
Top Qualifier: Chris Soldatos 7.121 188.91

Champion: Jim Rowley 9.774 140.20
Runner Up: Bill Perdikaris 9.882 136.39
Top Qualifier: Jim Rowley 9.667 139.89

Champion: Ken Stewart 9.896 89.23
Runner Up: Craig Roughley 24.637 25.05
Top Qualifier: Ken Stewart 7.863 168.47

Champion: Jim Denaro 10.639 126.34
Runner Up: Peter Hatzi 10.590 121.88
Top Qualifier: Mark Uzzell 7.101 193.88

Champion: Steve Bennett 11.980 106.24
Runner Up: Michael Gauci 11.295 115.90
Top Qualifier: Rick Dudek 1 1.053 121.27

Champion: Michael Borg 11.873 103.32
Runner Up: Danial Huxtable 10.779 123.08
Top Qualifier: D. Martini 7.761 166.87

Champion: Todd Hutchings 10.264 65.11
Runner Up: Jimmy Agate 9.124 70.42
Top Qualifier: Jimmy Agate 9.088 71.23

So there you have it...USA Top Fuel brought the sport to a whole new plane thanks to the Morris Iemma New South Wales State Government. Boxing Day Top Fuel War will return in 2006 and stay tuned, it will be BIGGER and BETTER next year!

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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Phil Read , Terry Sainty