Topeka: Jeff Arend preview

Jeff Arend is geared up to celebrate his 100th NHRA Funny Car start with an overdue win TOPEKA, Kan., (May 27, 2009) -- Over 14 years ago, Jeff Arend, driver of the bright yellow and red-striped, 8,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car,...

Jeff Arend is geared up to celebrate his 100th NHRA Funny Car start with an overdue win

TOPEKA, Kan., (May 27, 2009) -- Over 14 years ago, Jeff Arend, driver of the bright yellow and red-striped, 8,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Solara Funny Car, began his dream of racing against the world's best drag racers when he entered his first NHRA Funny Car event in Gainesville, Fla.

This weekend, May 29-31, Arend will compete in his 100th NHRA Funny Car event as part of the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at famed Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kan. Arend is reflective about the lessons he has learned over the past 99 events, and he is excited and optimistic about his straight-line career at this point and forward.

"Probably the best thing I've learned over the years is to try very hard not to burn any bridges," Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. "NHRA drag racing is an awfully small community, and I've tried my best not to burn any and to build on the good relationships to make them stronger.

"As far as regrets go, I really don't think I would change too much. Winning very early in my career has kept me pretty grounded and probably kept me from going broke. And, if I had changed anything, I wouldn't be where I am today with Kalitta Motorsports, which is truly a dream come true for me to race for Connie Kalitta and his team.

"We recently did some testing with our DHL race car and I think everyone on this team is more optimistic than ever before that we are going to pick up our first win together very soon. Our car continues to improve with consistency and performance at each event. To be able to get a win this weekend would also be extra special to continue the legacy of Scott Kalitta's dominance at HPT. In the mid-90's, Scott and his Top Fuel team were almost unstoppable in Topeka, so I think it would be really fitting for us to get our first win for Scott on Sunday."

-credit: km

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jeff Arend , Connie Kalitta