Arend to “Final Four” Again

Native Canadian Jeff Arend, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports DHL Funny Car, made his second consecutive trip to the semi-final round in NHRA Full Throttle national event racing…..

Arend made the “final four” on Sunday during final eliminations for the annual running of the NHRA Arizona Nationals held at Firebird Int’l Raceway in Chandler, AZ near Phoenix.

Arend, now a 48-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., qualified his bright yellow DHL hot rod in the No.16 position (4.411 seconds, 276.80 mph) for Sunday’s 16-car Funny Car eliminations field.

In the opening round, Arend faced off against No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon. For the third time in the past five NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, Arend put Pedregon “on the trailer” after a first round defeat – 4.550 sec., 275.39 mph to 4.917 sec., 227.80 mph.

Arend beat Bob Tasca III during this very close race in round #2

In the quarterfinals, Arend’s opponent in the other lane was Bob Tasca III. The two Funny Car Countdown to the Championship contenders put on a fantastic race for the fans at Firebird Int’l Raceway with Arend getting a very close win on a holeshot, 4.459 sec., 278.06 mph to 4.449 sec., 275.45 mph. Arend’s slight starting line advantage (.070 to .087) allowed him to get the DHL “flopper” to the finish line first by only .007 seconds.

In the semifinals, Arend raced against Jack Beckman. Arend and the DHL Funny Car came up short to Beckman in their bid to race to their third final round this season as Beckman got the win, 4.416 sec., 277.26 to 4.299 sec., 286.62 mph.

With his advancement to at least the semifinals for the sixth time this season, Arend moves up from eighth to sixth place in Funny Car Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points (2239). He is 65 points away from making it into the top five.

The other three nitro-fueled race cars in the Team Kalitta contingent, the Technicoat Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, the Candlewood Suites Top Fuel dragster driven by native Australian David Grubnic, and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Alexis DeJoria, all suffered first round losses in Sunday’s eliminations.

Kalitta remains in seventh place in Top Fuel Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points (2200) while Grubnic remains in eighth place in Top Fuel Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship points (2168).

Posted by:  Todd Myers