Charlotte: Grubnic, Arend final report

Team DHL drivers take early exits in inaugural Charlotte NHRA event CONCORD, N.C., (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic and native Canadian Jeff Arend both saw their racing days end much sooner than expected with opening round ...

Team DHL drivers take early exits in inaugural Charlotte NHRA event

CONCORD, N.C., (Sept. 14, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic and native Canadian Jeff Arend both saw their racing days end much sooner than expected with opening round losses Sunday in final eliminations of the inaugural running of the NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMax Dragway @ Concord in Concord, N.C., just a few miles from the Charlotte city limits.

Grubnic qualified his bright yellow DHL Top Fuel dragster charge in the top-half of the 16-car eliminations field in the No. 8 spot, 3.876 sec., 311.92 mph. In the opening round, he faced off against the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster driven by Tony Schumacher, the No. 9 qualifier. Grubnic's 8,000-horsepower rail began suffering traction problems on the hot and slick drag strip soon after the race began and that let his opponent in the opposite lane get to the 1,000-ft. finish line first, 4.423 seconds, 291.57 mph to 3.873 sec., 315.93 mph.

Grubnic, a 46-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., remains in 10th place in POWERade championship points and in the Countdown to 1 NHRA postseason.

Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., qualified his Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car in the No. 15 position, 4.131 sec., 304.19 mph. He rolled to the starting line in round one to race against No. 2 qualifier Robert Hight. When the lights went green, the two short wheel-based machines powered down the track side-by-side in a terrific race, but Hight was just barely able to get to the finish line stripe first, 4.196 sec., 305.22 mph to 4.142 sec., 301.81 mph, to get the win.

The NHRA Carolinas Nationals was the 19th of 24 events in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Jeff Arend , Robert Hight