Pomona: Kalitta Motorsports final summary

Dave Grubnic reaches semifinals at NHRA Winternationals; Teammate Doug Kalitta makes quarter-final round and Scott Kalitta loses in round one of Funny Car Pomona, Calif., (Feb. 11, 2007) -- After a morning rain delay from Mother Nature, the...

Dave Grubnic reaches semifinals at NHRA Winternationals; Teammate Doug Kalitta makes quarter-final round and Scott Kalitta loses in round one of Funny Car

Pomona, Calif., (Feb. 11, 2007) -- After a morning rain delay from Mother Nature, the skies cleared for Sunday's final eliminations at the season-opening event of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif.

Team Kalitta Top Fuel pilot and native Australian Dave Grubnic, driver of the Zantrex-3 dragster, started his campaign for the '07 POWERade points championship with a great semi-final round effort Sunday. Grubnic, the No. 8 qualifier in the 16-car field, defeated Mike Strasburg in round one, 4.563 seconds, 323.43 mph to 8.873 sec., 99.03 mph, to then race Joe Hartley in round two. Hartley's tire-smoking 8.565-sec., 96.31-mph lap made him an unwilling spectator to watch Grubnic rocket to the finish line with his 4.671-sec., 311.27-mph winning run.

In the semifinals, those roles were unfortunately reversed as it was Grubnic's rail that experienced the loss of traction and that let J.R. Todd traverse the quarter-mile first, 5.399 sec., 248.07 mph to 4.473 sec., 324.98 mph.

Grubnic leaves Pomona in fourth place in POWERade points.

Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driver and 2006 POWERade points runner-up Doug Kalitta started his quest for the '07 Top Fuel championship from the No. 4 qualifying spot. He defeated his Team Kalitta teammate Hillary Will, whose race car is owned by Ken Black, in round one after Will's car had mechanical problems after the burnout and was forced to relinquish the win to Doug.

In the next quarter-final round, Doug showed his stellar prowess on the "christmas tree" with a .034-second starting line advantage (.030 to .064) against Todd, but it was just barely not enough to help him get the win light as Todd was able to grab the round, 4.520 sec., 323.27 mph to 4.479 sec., 322.50 mph. The margin of victory at the finish line was a mere .007 seconds.

Doug will go into the second national event in Phoenix in two weeks in fifth place in points.

Doug's cousin Scott Kalitta, driver of the Kalitta Air Toyota Solara Funny Car, was the No. 7 qualifier for the fuel flopper class Sunday. His day ended much sooner than he and his team had hoped when Scott's first round lap was disqualified for crossing the center line as he raced Tony Pedregon. Pedregon then received the win.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals was the 1st of 23 national events in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-credit: km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Mike Strasburg , Joe Hartley , Hillary Will , J.R. Todd , Ken Black