SEATTLE, Wash., (Aug. 1, 2013) – Native Australian David Grubnic, driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, enters this weekend of 10,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled drag racing at Pacific Raceways in Seattle for the NHRA Northwest Nationals the same way he enters every NHRA national event – He wants to win. However, Grubnic and his team led by team owner and drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta are hoping to garner every championship point they can in their march to a potential win.
Including the event this weekend in Seattle, Top Fuel drivers have only three 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, 125 points away from the top ten.
“We have a tough road ahead of us, but we are up to the task,” Grubnic, a 50-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., said. “We were the No. 1 qualifiers in Sonoma (Calif., previous event) and we got an extra six points for being the quickest of the session twice in qualifying. Every little point is crucial for us to try to get now. Our Optima Batteries dragster performed the best it has all season in Sonoma, so we are hitting our stride right now. I’m confident we can battle for a top ten spot and make the Countdown.”
Grubnic raced to runner-up finishes in Seattle in 2004 and 2006.
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 Northwest Nationals begin Friday for Team Kalitta and all the Nitro-powered pros with two qualifying sessions at 3:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (PT). Two more qualifying sessions follow on Saturday at 1:00 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:
8/3 – Qualifying
10:00 PM-12:00 AM (ET)
8/4 – Finals
7:00 PM-10:00 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 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.