Grubnic makes semifinals at Mac Tools Gatornationals; Doug Kalitta picks up 200th round win Gainesville, Fla., March 21, 2004 -- After qualifying No. 1 for the 35th running of the Mac Tools Gatornationals, "Aussie Dave" Grubnic took his Mac...
Grubnic makes semifinals at Mac Tools Gatornationals; Doug Kalitta picks up 200th round win
Gainesville, Fla., March 21, 2004 -- After qualifying No. 1 for the 35th running of the Mac Tools Gatornationals, "Aussie Dave" Grubnic took his Mac Tools Customers For Life/Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster to semifinals, his second appearance in the semis this season in only the third of 23 national events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.
Grubnic is obviously disappointed, but the always-enthusiastic native of Brisbane, Australia still smiles when he talks about his early success in his Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta-owned team. Grubnic's racecar was specially painted this weekend to honor the 1,600+ Mac Tools distributors and their Customers For Life program.
"This is still a dream come true for me," Grubnic said. "Sure, I'm disappointed that we could not get a win here in Gainesville for all of the Mac Tools distributors, but I hope we gave them something to be proud of with our showing today."
"Our team has absolutely nothing to hang their heads about. I am so proud of all the guys on our team and our entire Kalitta Motorsports team. We have two low qualifiers and two semis in our first three races. I have dreamed of this kind of success over an entire season, so to have it already this year is just awesome.
Grubnic defeated Cory McClenathan in the first round of eliminations and David Baca in the following round. His 4.77-sec. lap in the semifinals came up just a bit short of his opponent, Darrell Russell's, 4.67-sec. pass down the quarter mile.
Grubnic's Kalitta Motorsports teammate Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, won his 200th elimination round when he defeated defending Top Fuel World Champion Larry Dixon in round one with a hole shot 4.60-sec. run to Dixon's 4.59-sec. attempt. Kalitta has defeated Dixon in eliminations at all three NHRA national events this season, twice in the second round (Pomona 1, Phoenix).
Kalitta lost in the second round to Darrell Russell.
Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta, son of team owner Connie and driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster lost in the first round to Bruce Litton while driving his specially painted Jesse James Flame dragster exclusively for the Mac Tools Gatornationals.
All three Kalitta Motorsports will be in action next in Las Vegas in two weeks.