Kalitta Racing's Grubnic sets record in Reading qualifying

Grubnic Qualifies No. 1 in Reading Tying Quickest Run in NHRA History; Teammates Kalitta, DeJoria, and Arend Also Shine in Record-Setting Qualifying at Maple Grove

READING, Pa. (October 6, 2012) – For the first time since 2008, David Grubnic and his ROCKY Boots Top Fuel dragster team led by team owner, crew chief, and drag racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta will enter race day Sunday in the No. 1 qualifying position in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series action. The four-car, nitro-fueled hot rod contingent of Kalitta Motorsports is at famed Maple Grove Raceway at the annual running of the Auto Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading, Penn.

David Grubnic
David Grubnic

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Grubnic, driver of the Special Edition ROCKY Boots “Rocky Rocket”, claimed the ninth No. 1 of his 18-year Top Fuel career by posting a career-best elapsed time, 3.728 seconds, as well as a career-best speed, 327.11 mph, in the final session of qualifying Saturday. The jaw-dropping 3.728 elapsed time is also tied for the quickest in NHRA history and sets a track record at Maple Grove.

“What a great day for Connie, what a great day for the Rocky Boots team and all of Kalitta Motorsports, and what a great day for me (laughing),” Native Australian Grubnic, a 50-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., “Track and air conditions were almost perfect for nitro cars today at Maple Grove, and Connie put a perfect tune-up in the Rocky dragster. It’s great when you get those conditions and can let loose with all that Kalitta horsepower.”

Grubnic will race against No. 16 qualifier Ike Maier in round one of eliminations tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET).

While Grubnic was making his awe-inspiring pass in the left lane, his Top Fuel Team Kalitta teammate Doug Kalitta, driver of the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, was making his quickest and fastest run ever in the right lane beside him. Kalitta, a 48-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich. and 15-year Top Fuel veteran, set his marks while making the sixth quickest run in NHRA history, 3.739 sec., and the second fastest pass in history, 331.45 mph. The booming speed also set a track record.

The Mac Tools team was also a model of consistency in qualifying with all four attempts quicker than 3.79 seconds, and the team was among the three quickest teams in each qualifying session, which garnered the Mac Tools team five bonus points.

Kalitta begins Sunday’s eliminations from the No. 4 slot. He will race against No. 13 Clay Millican in the opening round.

Rookie of the Year contender Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car, joined Team Kalitta’s career-best parade by posting her quickest and fastest numbers in the history-making qualifying in Reading. Team Green’s best qualifying efforts of 4.032 sec., and 319.07 mph were enough to grab the No. 6 starting position for Funny Car eliminations tomorrow. DeJoria will race against No. 11 starter Jim Head in the opening stanza.

Native Canadian Jeff Arend, a 49-year old resident of La Verne, Calif. and driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, qualified in the No. 9 spot for class eliminations in Maple Grove. He and the DHL “Yella Fellas” team were also very impressive in Reading qualifying by stopping the clocks at 4.057 sec. at 318.09 mph, which sets a career-best speed for the 18-year “flopper” vet. Arend and the DHL team will take on No. 8 qualifier Ron Capps in round one.

Source: Kalitta Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Clay Millican , Ron Capps , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Jeff Arend , Ike Maier
Article type Qualifying report
Tags arend, dejoria, grubnic, kalitta, top fuel