BRAINERD, Minn., (Aug. 16, 2013) – Native Australian David Grubnic, driver of the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, has a hot 10,000-horsepower hot rod. He is confident that he and his team will continue to build on their winning momentum this weekend at the annual running of the NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway in scenic Brainerd, Minn.
Grubnic and the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts team are coming of a runner-up finish, their first final round of the season, at the previous event in Seattle. The team was the No. 2 qualifier in Seattle, and they were the No. 1 qualifier at the event prior to Seattle in Sonoma, Calif.
“We have a really quick race car right now,” Grubnic, a 51-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., said. “My team has been busting their guts all year and their hard work is paying off. It’s very important that we continue our recent success this weekend in Brainerd. We are fighting tooth and nail to get a spot in the Countdown and every point counts. Hopefully we’ll keep our momentum going in the next two races and go into the Countdown on a hot streak.”
Top Fuel drivers now have only two events remaining 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 the famed U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 28-Sept. 2. Grubnic is currently in 11th place, 78 points away from the top ten. He entered Seattle 126 points behind 10th place.
Grubnic was a runner-up finisher in Brained in 2004. Team owner, Grubnic’s crew chief and drag racing legend Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta took home the Top Fuel title trophy from Brainerd in 1985.
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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The NHRA Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with two qualifying sessions at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (CT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The top 16 qualified cars in each Nitro class will race Sunday in final eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Times and dates subject to change.
ESPN2 TV Schedule:
8/17 – Qualifying
11:00 PM-1:00 AM (ET)
8/18 – Finals
9:00 PM-12:00 AM (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 www.teamkalitta.com. Follow Us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeamKalitta. Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KalittaMotorsports. Check out videos about Team Kalitta on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/TeamKalitta. Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/teamkalitta.