Dave Grubnic looking to make good on "off the record" numbers as NHRA season starts in Pomona Pomona, Calif., (Feb. 7, 2006) - Native Australian and NHRA Top Fuel veteran driver Dave Grubnic, known by American drag racing fans as "Aussie ...
Dave Grubnic looking to make good on "off the record" numbers as NHRA season starts in Pomona
Pomona, Calif., (Feb. 7, 2006) - Native Australian and NHRA Top Fuel veteran driver Dave Grubnic, known by American drag racing fans as "Aussie Dave", knows that in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series you're only as good as your last lap, so he and his team are hoping that their "unofficial" early momentum will continue to build into official win lights.
This weekend, the season-opening CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 9-12, in Pomona, Calif., kicks off the 2006 NHRA season. Grubnic, a 41-year old resident of Ennis, Mont., is eager to get his pink and black StriVectin-SD-sponsored rail rocket back on the track in competition after posting some extremely impressive marks in pre-season testing.
"We dipped into the 4s (4.4 seconds elapsed time) a few times, and it was great to see our car come straight out of the box and be ready to go," Grubnic said. "My team has worked incredibly hard since last season ended and it showed fantastically in testing."
Grubnic's 4.454-sec. and 4.467-sec. runs during testing in Las Vegas were the quickest by anyone who tested their race cars over the winter. He also made a 4.490-sec. lap to solidify his position as an early season favorite to make a concerted run at the 2006 POWERade championship.
"We're really hungry this year on my StriVectin-SD team. We feel like we left a lot on the table last year and we're anxious to get back out there and prove to ourselves, our fans, our sponsors and to everyone else that we are a true contender to win the whole thing."
In early 2003, Grubnic was hired to drive for Kalitta Motorsports. Since joining the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based multi-car nitro team, Grubnic 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, and he picked up an emotional and long overdue first NHRA national event win in May, 2005 in Topeka, Kans., to become the first non-native North American to win a Top Fuel trophy.
The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals begins Thursday, Feb. 9, for the Top Fuel class with one qualifying session at 2:30 p.m. (PT). The next qualifying attempt will be made on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 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 Winternationals is the 1st of 23 national events in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car 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 Kalitta Air Funny Car. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship Top Fuel dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian Dave Grubnic drives the StriVectin-SD Top Fuel dragster, while Hillary Will drives the Kalitta Motorsports-managed and Ken Black-owned Top Fuel dragster.
Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Hillary Will-driven dragster), Jon Oberhofer (StriVectin-SD dragster), Johnny West (Kalitta Air Funny Car) and Larry Meyer (Kalitta Air Funny Car co-crew chief).