Grubnic Knows Going Rounds in Indy is Best Chance for NHRA Countdown Hopes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (Aug. 28, 2013) – Native Australian David Grubnic, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, has only one thing on his mind heading into this weekend’s 59th annual running of the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Raceway at Indianapolis, and it’s not what you might think.

Top Fuel drivers now have only the event in Indy to qualify for NHRA’s six-event “playoff”, the Countdown to the Championship, by being in the top ten in Mello Yello championship points when racing concludes at NHRA U.S. Nationals. Grubnic is currently in 11th place, 72 points away from the top ten, but making a bid for a spot in the Countdown is not on Grubnic’s radar.

 “We don’t even need to think about the Countdown,” Grubnic, a 51-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., said. “We need to concentrate all of our efforts on winning rounds and winning the event and let the Countdown take care of itself from there. Our Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts dragster has been on a tear lately thanks to Connie (Kalitta, team owner, crew chief and 1994 Indy Top Fuel winner) and James (Riola, assistant crew chief) and our whole team. We feel very confident we’ll have a car that’s tough to beat in Indy. If we get in the Countdown, great, but our main goal is to win the event and get Connie another Indy trophy, hopefully that will secure a Countdown spot.”

Grubnic is an 18-year Top Fuel veteran and earned his first career Top Fuel victory in Topeka, Kan. in 2005, becoming the first racer born outside North America to win an NHRA Top Fuel event. He has garnered three NHRA Top Fuel national event victories so far. The always-affable Grubnic is known affectionately by his peers and fans as “Grubby”.

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Event Schedule:

The NHRA U.S. Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with one qualifying session at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. and 7:10 p.m., and then two more chances to qualify take place Sunday at 12:45 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in each Nitro class will race Labor Day Monday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m. 

Times and dates subject to change.

ESPN2 TV Schedule:

9/1 – Qualifying

   1:00 PM-6:00 PM (ET)

9/2 – Finals

   12:00 PM-6:00 PM (ET)

Times and dates subject to change.

About Kalitta Motorsports:

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.

Del Worsham drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the OPTIMA Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, by Tommy DeLago and Glen Huszar on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car,  and by Jim Oberhofer on the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.

Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, Red Line Oil, Technicoat and JEGS.

For more info about Kalitta Motorsports including exclusive content such as videos, photos and more, please visit Follow Us on Twitter: Like Us on Facebook: Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: Follow us on Instagram: