Pomona: Danny Gruninger Thursday report

GRUNINGER'S CAREER BEST E.T. KICKS OFF QUALIFYING IN POMONA POMONA, CALIF. - Babe Ruth has nothing on 23-year old Danny Gruninger. The sophomore driver of the USRECOGNITION.COM PRO STOCK DODGE from Denver, Colo. knocked one out of the ball...

GRUNINGER'S CAREER BEST E.T. KICKS OFF QUALIFYING IN POMONA

POMONA, CALIF. - Babe Ruth has nothing on 23-year old Danny Gruninger.

The sophomore driver of the USRECOGNITION.COM PRO STOCK DODGE from Denver, Colo. knocked one out of the ball park today in the first qualifying session for the 50th Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals contested in Pomona, Calif. at Auto Club Raceway.

The four-time Little League World Series competitor uncorked a career best elapsed time when his USRECOGNITION.COM Dodge Stratus traveled the Pomona quarter mile in 6.698-seconds at a speed of 207.18 miles per hour. The run for the Gruninger Motorsports team served as the 15th quickest elapsed time of the day in the ultra-tough NHRA Pro Stock division.

"We knew coming into this weekend our car would hopefully pick up the performance with a fresh Bob Panella prepared engine," noted team owner Mark Gruninger, who along with his wife Brenda operate US RECOGNITION, a one stop shop for awards, trophies, silk screening, embroidery and more. "But to be honest, we really didn't expect that 6.69 to come up on the score boards. We are extremely happy with our career best ET, but we also know this pass was a baseline run. I think we've got some more in this car."

Gruninger noted the conservative 1.000-second 60 foot time as an area the team would like to improve on with tomorrows qualifying session.

"Right after we got the car back into our pit area, the guys who help us with the chassis set up instantly went to work on the shocks, trying to find a way for our car to launch a bit quicker," Gruninger stated. "That's where the learning curve has to begin for us in this class. If we can get this thing to improve by a hundredth of a second or two, in theory the car will incrementally improve down the race track"

2009 Pro Stock World Champion Mike Edwards set the pace in qualifying with a solid 6.580-second; 210 mph run to claim the provisional pole position after one session. At last year's season finale', the USRECOGNITION.COM DODGE was nearly two-tenths off the pace. Today, they improved the gap between themselves and the class' perennial champion by 0.090 seconds from last year.

"That's why we are here," concluded Gruninger. "We know we are not going to set any records, but if we can minimize our mistakes, pick up a little here or there, I'm sure we will be able to compete with these big guys out here. We're happy with today's performance. We look forward to tomorrow's qualifying effort."

The Pro Stock category is scheduled to take to the Pomona quarter-mile tomorrow afternoon for the second of four qualifying sessions.

-source: danny gruninger PR

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Mike Edwards , Danny Gruninger