"Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualifies No. 3 in Brainerd; Teammates Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 4 and No. 9 respectively Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 13, 2005 -- At the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster ...
"Aussie Dave" Grubnic qualifies No. 3 in Brainerd; Teammates Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 4 and No. 9 respectively
Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 13, 2005 -- At the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster driver "Aussie Dave" Grubnic led the three-car Team Kalitta Top Fuel qualifying efforts for Sunday's 16-car field of final eliminations at Brainerd Int'l Raceway.
Grubnic qualified No. 3 with a best lap down the quarter-mile of 4.501 seconds at 327.43 mph. He will race No. 14 qualifier Luigi Novelli in round one of eliminations. This will be the first ever eliminations match-up for Grubnic and Novelli.
Native Australian Grubnic, 43, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, made history May 29th in Topeka, Kans., by becoming the first non-North American to win an NHRA Top Fuel national event. The win in Topeka was Grubnic's first in his 11-year career.
Grubnic is currently in fourth place in championship points, 183 markers from the lead.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott, 43, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 4 (4.509 sec., 326.16 mph). He will race No. 13 qualifier Joe Hartley in round one of eliminations. Scott is 1-0 versus Hartley in his career.
Scott, who won the opening event of the 2005 season in Pomona, in February, and again in June in Joliet, Ill., is currently eighth in championship points.
Scott has 18 (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car) NHRA national event victories in his 24-year career.
Current Top Fuel championship points leader and two-time Top Fuel points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug, 40, took the No. 9 qualifying spot with a 4.565-sec., 326.40-mph run. He will race No. 8 qualifier Jack Beckman in round one. Doug is 1-0 versus Beckman in his career.
Doug enters final eliminations Sunday with a 10-point lead over second place Tony Schumacher.
Doug is an eight-year Top Fuel veteran and former USAC National Sprint Car Champion (1994). He owns 23 NHRA national event trophies. He has four wins so far in 2005 (Gainesville, Fla., Bristol, Tenn., Atlanta and Sonoma, Calif.).
Regarding the driver of the new Ken Black-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster that will campaign for the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series championship, a final decision and subsequent announcement will be made within the next seven days.
The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is the 16th of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Sunday's final eliminations begin with the Top Fuel class at 11:00 a.m.