"Aussie Dave" Grubnic reaches semifinals in Indy; Teammates Doug Kalitta and Scott Kalitta suffer early round losses Clermont, Ind., (Sept. 5, 2005) -- At the most prestigious NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event on Earth, the 51st Annual Mac...
"Aussie Dave" Grubnic reaches semifinals in Indy; Teammates Doug Kalitta and Scott Kalitta suffer early round losses
Clermont, Ind., (Sept. 5, 2005) -- At the most prestigious NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event on Earth, the 51st Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Clermont, Ind., just west of downtown Indianapolis, Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster driver "Aussie Dave" Grubnic made the semi-final round from the 13th qualifying slot at famed Indianapolis Raceway Park.
With a big Labor Day crowd looking on Monday, Grubnic dispelled No. 4 qualifier Brandon Bernstein in the first round of 16-car final eliminations; 5.250 seconds, 248.02 mph to 8.618 sec., 85.11 mph.
In the second round, Grubnic faced his Kalitta Motorsports teammate Doug Kalitta. Doug was too anxious to start the race and red-lit on the starting line to give Grubnic the quarter-final win.
In the semifinals, a tire-smoking Grubnic lost to Tony Schumacher, 5.943 sec., 234.57 mph to 4.659 sec., 292.84 mph, to end Grubnic's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals with his best-ever performance at the "Big Go".
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.
Doug, a 24-time NHRA national event winner, entered final eliminations Monday tied with the reigning Top Fuel champ Schumacher for the 2005 championship points lead. With Doug's second-round loss and Schumacher's final-round appearance, Two-time championship points runner-up (2003-2004) Doug now trails by 40 points in the chase for the 2005 POWERade championship. He defeated Clay Millican in round one; 4.540 sec., 328.62 mph to 4.637 sec., 317.42 mph.
Two-time Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) Scott Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 7. He lost in the opening round of eliminations to Melanie Troxel; 12.577 sec., 76.10 mph to 4.591 sec., 320.58 mph. Scott is now ninth in Top Fuel championship points.
The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals was the 18th of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.