"Aussie Dave" Grubnic goes to Joliet NHRA event with new outlook and a new ride Joliet, Ill., June 7, 2005 - Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster driver and drag racing fan-favorite "Aussie Dave" Grubnic is a winner, and he is relieved. After over a...
"Aussie Dave" Grubnic goes to Joliet NHRA event with new outlook and a new ride
Joliet, Ill., June 7, 2005 - Zantrex-3 Top Fuel dragster driver and drag racing fan-favorite "Aussie Dave" Grubnic is a winner, and he is relieved. After over a decade of trying to win his first NHRA national event, the native Australian made history two weeks ago in Topeka, Kans., with his first win by becoming the first non-North American to do so in NHRA competition.
This weekend, June 9-12, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series goes to Joliet, Ill., just south of Chicago, for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Grubnic is now eager to turn the page on his career and let the wins start pouring in as Joliet approaches with the prospect of a new beginning, or at least a new race car.
"I'm relieved more than anything to finally get the first win," Grubnic said. "It's great for my team, my sponsors and my fans. Now that I have tasted victory, I'm thirsty for more. I really like the taste of it and I'm sure they all do too.
"Joliet is a great track. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to say Route 66 Raceway is a 9. The track is very smooth and very fast. The layout of the facility is great for fans and racers as well. I really like going there. Maybe my second win will be there this weekend?
"We're bringing out a new car for Joliet too. Our old race car was good to us, but it's time for new pipe (chassis). We're hoping this new car will give us some tuning advantages as the summer rolls along and the tracks get hotter and trickier."
With his historic and emotional Topeka victory, Grubnic, 42, climbed into a tie for third place in Top Fuel championship points. He trails teammate and points leader Doug Kalitta by only 129 points.
Grubnic had made seven final-round appearances in his 11-year career before his big win two weeks ago. His career-best elapsed time is 4.448 seconds, and his career-best speed is 333.58 mph. He won the 2004 Budweiser Shootout special $100,000 event in Las Vegas last fall.
Kalitta Motorsports, which includes Grubnic's teammates Doug and Scott Kalitta, has made five straight final-round appearances. In the first nine NHRA national events of 2005, Team Kalitta race cars have made seven final-round appearances with five wins (Doug - 3, Scott - 1, Grubnic - 1).
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begins Friday, June 10, for the Top Fuel class with two qualifying sessions. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday. The top sixteen qualified cars will race Sunday in final eliminations.
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is the tenth of 23 national events in the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.
Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster) and Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster).
Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.