"Aussie Dave" qualifies second
Atlanta, Saturday: Low qualifier in Atlanta in 2004 Dave Grubnic, driver of the black and electric blue-flamed Zantrex-3 Top Fuel hot rod, qualified No. 2 (4.545 seconds, 327.27 mph). He will race No. 15 qualifier Mitch King in round one of eliminations. He missed being No. 1 qualifier by .004 sec. to Morgan Lucas (4.541 sec.).
"It's a shame we missed being No. 1 by that close," Grubnic said. "It was still a great run for my Zantrex-3 guys. We've been No. 1 by that close or less before, so you have to take the good with the bad. Just like the (eliminations) ladder. If we're lucky enough to get past round one, we have to run one of our teammates in round two. That's not good, but if that does happen, we know a Kalitta car will be in the semifinals and that's always good."
Fifth place championship points holder and native Australian Grubnic, 42, the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout special event winner last fall in Las Vegas, has made seven final-round appearances in his 11-year career but has not yet won an NHRA national event.
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