Indianapolis: Dave Grubnic preview

NHRA Top Fueler Dave Grubnic heads to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis with confidence and aspiration INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Aug. 29, 2006) -- A little over a decade ago, native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the pink and ...

NHRA Top Fueler Dave Grubnic heads to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis with confidence and aspiration

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Aug. 29, 2006) -- A little over a decade ago, native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the pink and black StriVectin-SD Top Fuel dragster, uprooted his life as a regional manager for Ford Motor Company in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia, to plant himself on U.S. soil in hopes of one day being a full-time driver in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Grubnic's intercontinental dream became a reality, and now the friendly fan-favorite is ready to check another item off of his 8,000-horsepower wish list -- To win the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, this weekend's, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, running of the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

"Every drag racer dreams of winning in Indy," Grubnic said. "I can remember hearing about the "Big Go" when I was growing up back in Australia. All of the biggest names in our sport have solidified their racing legacies with Indy wins -- Connie Kalitta (Grubnic's team owner), Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney (StriVectin-SD team and sponsor relations representative), Don Prudhomme, and the list goes on. You bet I want to have my name mentioned with those.

"Our StriVectin-SD dragster has been running really well lately so I think we have a great chance of going to Indy and winning. We had a mechanical problem in Memphis (previous event) that put us out in the first round, but besides that miscue, our race car is running as good as it ever has and I'm looking forward to getting on the track in Indy and seeing what we can do."

In early 2004, Grubnic, a 43-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports after several years of driving for teams with minimal funding. Since joining Team Kalitta, Grubnic, now in his 12th season as a Top Fuel driver, has posted consecutive top-five championship points finishes. In 2004, he won the lucrative and coveted Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, becoming only the fourth driver in the special event's 20-year history to win its $100,000 prize in his first attempt. In May, 2005, in Topeka, Kans., he became the first non-native North American to win an NHRA national event in Top Fuel. He also won the prestigious Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in March of this year.

-credit: kalitta racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Don Garlits , Don Prudhomme , Connie Kalitta