Dean Neal interview with Dave Grubnic

POWERade NHRA Top Fuel star Dave Grubnic won in Gainesville Florida during the 2006 NHRA series chase. He wants to win this week as well! Boxing Day One-on-one With Aussie Dave Grubnic! Sunday, 24 December 2006 - (Sydney, NSW) He's 44-years...

POWERade NHRA Top Fuel star Dave Grubnic won in Gainesville Florida during the 2006 NHRA series chase. He wants to win this week as well!

Boxing Day One-on-one With Aussie Dave Grubnic!

Sunday, 24 December 2006 - (Sydney, NSW) He's 44-years old, one of the fastest men in the history of Motorsport on the planet and despite living in the USA for many years now, his heart beats Australian as proudly as ever. As far as Dave Grubnic is concerned, this upcoming Boxing Day Tuesday and Wednesday at Western Sydney International Dragway is all about payback on his team-mate, Floridian Nitro Gun Scott Kalitta, as they are set to explode on the startline - head to head from 5pm both days in USA V Australia Top Fuel Warfare!

Grubnic enjoyed another powerful season in his chase for the 2006 POWERade NHRA Top Fuel Championship, netting a 6th place finish in the Championship.

2006 was also the scene of Grubnic's second ever 'Wally' trophy where he secured a NHRA round win at Gainesville, Florida early in the season.

I had a chance to have a sit down and chat with the likeable Brisbane native earlier today - and he is excited about returning to Australia and driving the Auto One/Fuchs Lubricants/Snap-on Tools Nitro monster as part of Jim Read racing and Kalitta Motorsports attack on Boxing Day Top Fuel action!

[Dean Neal]: So how is everything going Dave, getting excited?

[Dave Grubnic]: Other than a little cold bug I have got right now, I am really forward to racing in Sydney again this year with my team mate Scott Kalitta.

[DN]: What are your expectations for this event?

[DG]: The same as last year Dean, we are about putting on a good show for the fans and that means running quick. At the least we intend to run as strong as we did last time, if not better to be honest. Jim Read racing have some great equipment here for us to run with and the car I will drive is certainly capable of producing 4.5-second passes. The weather conditions and track temperature will be the key as to how quick we run.

[DN]: You must still be kicking the dirt after last year Dave, two finals Down Under in your home country and you got dusted twice!

[DG]: Yeah, Scott has been bragging about his run against me in Sydney last year that's for sure! Unfortunately, I lost the final after we had him covered until I tossed a blower belt at about 1000-feet. Scott seems to think he can whip my ass again this year too. One thing is for sure, if we can quali fy our cars 1 and 2 again and make it to the final like we did last year, it should be a heck of a race! The Sydney show was good because the bottom line was we put on a good show with exciting and strong runs. If we duplicate that as a team Kalitta all-in final it will be all good.

[DN]: Now you are in Sydney mate, have you had a look at the Western Sydney International Dragway racing surface yet?

[DG]: I haven't had a look yet. Team Kalitta Team Manager Jim Oberhofer has had a look at the track though and he thinks its developed a bit more from last year, with lots of promise and potential to run strong for the fans. As I said before though, the conditions and track temperature will have the last say in all of that.

[DN]: Its one thing to run quick Dave, however I can speak for a lot of people that were simply awestruck at how both you and Scott Kalitta, were able to 'peddle' the cars, catch them back up - and run strong 4-second passes in hot co nditions last year. How do you guys do that so well?

[DG]: Peddling - I don't know, its an instinct thing I guess. A bit like pushbike training wheels when you learn to ride a bike, then after a while with some practice you can ride it easy. I think it's the same with these cars. Its just laps and lots of them, do what you have to do to get confidence and experience racing and learning to peddle. We race so much with the NHRA, that helps and having a team mate like Doug Kalitta in America who is so good at peddling as well, it all helps!

[DN]: Scott Kalitta, as we know has been running in Nitro Funny Car with the NHRA in 2006. How is he going handle stepping back into a Top Fuel Dragster?

[DG]: Scott is always confident and has kept his Top Fuel license current. At the end of the season in Las Vegas, he tested in my car and ran strong 4.50s at 327 miles per hour, straight down the groove. He will be fine!

[DN]: Last season you ran your Striv ectin-SD machine here in Sydney. This year is a little different, driving brand-new equipment for Jim Read Racing. You comfortable with that?

[DG]: We are very confident and comfortable with this car and I must thank Jim Read and Jim Read Racing for that. Bruce Read, Phil Read and Rob Cavagnino have done a great job on this car. Also Rob is going to be my crew chief, for this event too which will be great. I have also spent sometime on the car as has Jim Oberhofer and everything looks good. The only issue may be getting acquainted with the characteristics of this car. That might take us a little time, however it shouldn't take us too long at all. This Auto One/Fuchs Lubricants car I have at my disposal has 4.5-seconds written all over it.

[DN]: That's interesting to hear that Rob Cavagnino will be your Crew Chief for this event. Where does that leave Jim Oberhofer?

[DG]: The Santo car that Scott is driving in Sydney is the focus this time around. Jim Oberhofer and the four Kalitta Motorsports crew are working hard on that car for Santo Rapisarda. It is a Kalitta car from the USA and we as a team have taken it upon ourselves to provide a sort of after sales service for Santo and his team. It has run like my car did here last year in the USA and the team's aim will be to get that car running quick and strong repeatedly. That said, I am sure sharing data between our cars will happen, even though if Scott is kicking my ass, he might not be so keen! In truth, it's a difficult sport and fundamentally we got to have fun out there and put on a heck of a show for the fans, which we are confident of doing!


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Series Drag , NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Phil Read