Thursday, May 31, 2012
Team Kalitta Carrying Winning Momentum Into NHRA’s Legendary Englishtown Event
The four-car contingent of Kalitta Motorsports featuring the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster driven by David Grubnic, the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Jeff Arend, and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Alexis DeJoria will be in high-speed NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series action again this weekend, June 1-3, at the famed Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.
Native Australian Grubnic, a 49-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., won the title trophy in the world’s quickest and fastest racing class at the previous event in Topeka, Kan. two weeks ago. He’s an 18-year Top Fuel veteran and earned his first career Top Fuel victory in Topeka in 2005, becoming the first racer born outside North America to win an NHRA Top Fuel event. He has three wins in his career with 16 final-round appearances.
Grubnic, known affectionately by fans as “Grubby”, is currently in eighth place in Full Throttle Top Fuel championship points. He qualified in the No. 12 slot for eliminations in “E-Town” last year. He was defeated in the opening round in a close race with Antron Brown in 2011.
Kalitta, a 47-year old resident of Ann Arbor, Mich., is a two-time Toyota NHRA SuperNationals Top Fuel champion (2003, 2000). He has amassed 32 NHRA Top Fuel title trophies in 64 final-round appearances. He has finished in the top ten in Full Throttle championship points in every season of his 15-year straight-line career. He was the 1994 USAC National Sprint Car champion.
Kalitta has raced to four semi-final appearances in 2012, including back-to-back semis at the previous two events in Topeka and Atlanta. He posted a quarter-final finish in last year’s eliminations in Englishtown after qualifying in the No. 11 spot. He is currently in the No. 6 position in Full Throttle Top Fuel points.
Native Canadian Arend, a 49-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., has posted three wins in eight final-round appearances in his 18-year Funny Car career. He took over the controls of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in 2008 after the tragic death of Scott Kalitta in a racing accident in June of that year in Englishtown.
Arend and the DHL “Yella Fellas” have reached two semifinals so far in 2012 (Atlanta and Houston). They are currently in 10th place in Full Throttle Funny Car championship points. Arend qualified the yellow and black DHL hot rod in the No. 7 spot for 2011’s Funny Car eliminations in Englishtown. He was defeated by eventual event champion Mike Neff in the Funny Car opener.
The newest addition to the Kalitta Motorsports nitro-fueled racing stable, the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Rookie of the Year contender Alexis DeJoria, will also be competing this weekend at the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals. With 2011 Top Fuel World Champion Del Worsham at the helm of the Tequila Patrón flopper as crew chief, “Team Green” is currently in 14th place in Full Throttle Funny Car points.