Joliet: Dave Grubnic preview

Dave Grubnic wants Windy City win to get foothold in NHRA Top Fuel points fight JOLIET, Ill., (June 6, 2006) -- As the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its way to Route 66 Raceway this weekend, June 8-11, in Joliet, Ill., just south of ...

Dave Grubnic wants Windy City win to get foothold in NHRA Top Fuel points fight

JOLIET, Ill., (June 6, 2006) -- As the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its way to Route 66 Raceway this weekend, June 8-11, in Joliet, Ill., just south of downtown Chicago, for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the 8,000 horsepower, pink and black StriVectin-SD Top Fuel dragster, is obviously hoping for an event win at one of the NHRA's premier racing facilities, but more importantly, No. 4 points-holder Grubnic wants to close the points gap between himself and the Top Fuel leader Melanie Troxel.

"Okay, so right now we're 190 points back," Grubnic said. "That's a lot, but it's definitely not insurmountable. We still have 14 races left including the race in Chicago. We just need to be consistent and go rounds and put together some event wins -- one round at a time. We are certainly not in a panic mode yet.

"Route 66 is a great racetrack. It's probably the best prepared racetrack on the tour. The weather usually cooperates with us there too, so the numbers can get astronomical. I can't wait. Maybe we'll get in the winner's circle and close in on Melanie."J Grubnic holds the speediest time slip in the history of Route 66 Raceway. His 333.58-mph blast there in October of 2004 remains the fastest speed ever at the racetrack that is well known for producing NHRA record-setting performances.

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. He also won the prestigious Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in March of this year.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begins Friday, June 9, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (CT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.

All times and dates subject to change.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the 10th of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

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