Grubnic qualifies No.1 in Phoenix; Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 4 and No. 5 respectively Chandler, Ariz., March 6, 2004 -- In Friday night's last Top Fuel qualifying session at the Checker Schuck`s Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird...
Grubnic qualifies No.1 in Phoenix; Scott Kalitta and Doug Kalitta qualify No. 4 and No. 5 respectively
Chandler, Ariz., March 6, 2004 -- In Friday night's last Top Fuel qualifying session at the Checker Schuck`s Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, "Aussie Dave" Grubnic continued his already stellar NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season when he drove his Kalitta Air dragster through the lights with a track record-setting, career-best 4.486-sec. quarter-mile blast. The run will allow Grubnic to enter Sunday's final eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier, the second top-qualifying spot of his nine-year career (Memphis, 1999). His speed of 324.51 mph on that pass is also a personal best.
The Checker Schuck`s Kragen NHRA Nationals is the second stop on the $50 million, 23-event NHRA national event trail.
The affable native Australian has a permanent smile that gets bigger every time he climbs behind the wheel of his new Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta-tuned rail.
"This is super," Grubnic exclaimed. "I can not explain how great it is to drive this car. Everyone on our Kalitta Air team does an outstanding job."
"It's been a few years since I have started from the top spot. I am certainly not used to this, but with the way our car is running I might better. I just can't say enough about our guys -- awesome!"
Grubnic's Kalitta Motorsports teammates Scott Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools/Jesse James Top fuel dragster, and his cousin Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, both ran identical 4.553-sec. laps Friday, but Scott's speed of 325.06 mph secured the No. 4 qualifying spot over Doug's 323.43-mph posting in fifth.
Grubnic's No.1 lets Kalitta Motorsports go two-for-two in pole positions in 2004. Doug qualified No. 1 last weekend in Pomona, Calif.
Grubnic will face No. 16 qualifier Glenn Mikres in the first round of eliminations. Scott will pair up with No. 13 Larry Dixon, and Doug will match up against No.12 Rhonda Hartman-Smith in the opening stanza.
Sunday's eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m.
ESPN2 will have three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. (ET) (subject to change).