Dallas: Grubnic, Arend preview

Team DHL drivers determined to deliver drag racing victories in Dallas ENNIS, Texas, (Sept. 17, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, is looking forward to a...

Team DHL drivers determined to deliver drag racing victories in Dallas

ENNIS, Texas, (Sept. 17, 2008) -- Native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the bright yellow, Nitro-fueled, 8,000-horsepower DHL Top Fuel dragster, is looking forward to a favorable racing forecast and fast times this weekend, Sept. 18-21, at the annual running of the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, just a few miles south of Dallas.

"The weather this weekend looks really good for Texas at this time of year," Grubnic, a 46-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., said. "From what I've seen, there is no rain in the forecast and the temps are supposed to hover in the low 80s. You combine those good atmospheric conditions with the all-concrete racing surface at the Motorplex, and I think the fans are in for a heckuva show this weekend."

Grubnic is in 10th place in POWERade championship points and in the NHRA Countdown to 1. He is 189 points away from the points lead.

"We lost in the first round at the last race (Charlotte), but that's certainly not the end of the road for us. It sets us a back a bit, yes, but we think we still have a fantastic chance to get in there and battle for the championship before the season's end. We've definitely not given up on that goal."

In early 2004, Grubnic was hired to drive for legendary team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta and Kalitta Motorsports. In the fall of '04, Grubnic won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt. Grubnic picked up an emotional first NHRA national event win in May, 2005 in Topeka, Kans., to become the first non-native North American to win a Top Fuel trophy. He has one other event victory to date, the 2006 running of the famed Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

Native Canadian Jeff Arend, driver of the Nitro-fueled DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, is also looking forward to this weekend in the Lone Star State. Arend and the DHL Funny Car team qualified their entry in a very tough 16-car field in Charlotte, only .062 seconds separated the qualifying field, and the race car's performance continued to show remarkable improvements with five out of six "clean and mean" laps down the track.

"The DHL Funny Car is running up there with the big dogs and it just keeps getting stronger," Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. "Now that we've gotten some consistency in the tune-up, we are hoping to make some finer adjustments now to step up the performance even more. With all that this team has been through this year, it's a big lift around here to see the DHL car putting up some good numbers and making problem-free runs."

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeff Arend