Grubnic to continue pursuit of 2010 Top Fuel championship
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
At the beginning of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Kalitta Motorsports’ Conrad “Connie” Kalitta, team owner and drag racing legend, announced that he was putting Dave Grubnic behind the wheel of his Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster to compete for at least half of the 23-event schedule. Kalitta announced today that Grubnic and the Kalitta Air team will continue to vie for a coveted spot in the Countdown to 1.
After competing at the first 13 events this season, Grubnic and the Kalitta Air team are in 11th place, six points from the top 10. Only the top 10 are eligible for NHRA’s playoffs, the Countdown to 1, which begins at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil in Indianapolis in early September; four events remain at which to earn points for the Countdown to 1.
Kalitta, who also serves as crew chief on the Grubnic-driven Kalitta Air dragster, said the decision to keep competing with the Kalitta Air rail was easy.
“I’m having a lot of fun tuning the car,” said Kalitta, nicknamed “the Bounty Hunter” in his driving days. “We’ve got a great shot at getting in the top 10 and competing for the championship, so that’s what we’re going to do. It’s a no-brainer.”
Grubnic, a 46-year-old native of Australia and resident of Ennis, Mont., is understandably excited about the bonus time he gets to drive the 7,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled Kalitta Air race car.
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Connie, and I would’ve supported his decision either way, but I must say I’m really glad he chose to keep going,” said Grubnic, the only non-native of North America to win an NHRA Top Fuel event. “Driving for Connie and Kalitta Motorsports is truly an honor.
“I’m very optimistic about our chances of getting in the top 10. Our Kalitta Air car has been getting much more consistent of late, and we’re going to need that consistency to get in the Countdown. We’re all confident we can do it.”
Grubnic and the Kalitta Air team, along with Kalitta Motorsports teammates Doug Kalitta, driver of another Kalitta Air Top Fueler, and Jeff Arend, driver of the DHL Funny Car, will next compete in the NHRA’s Western Swing, three events in three consecutive weekends beginning in Seattle, July 9-11, and followed by stops in Sonoma and Denver.