NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Big on accountability, Grubnic sees better days ahead for Brittany Force

When it comes to Brittany Force's recent DNQ, crew chief David Grubnic doesn't duck accountability, noting "I need to make it right and I will make it right."
31 May 2024
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
David Grubnic

Accountability is a big component of success in professional sports and when it comes to drag racing, few people know that better than David Grubnic, crew chief on Brittany Force’s Monster Energy dragster. Coming off a rare DNQ in Chicago, Grubnic takes full responsibility for the team’s recent shortcomings and promises that better days are on the horizon.

“Are we going to rebound? Absolutely. We’re going to get this deal straightened out,” Grubnic said, answering the question before it's even asked. “Right now, we’re a bit out of sync, and by that, I mean out of sync between the engine and the clutch. I just need to get a handle on that and I believe we’re a bit closer this week.

“In  Vegas, I thought we were okay, and then in Charlotte, I pushed hard because I thought we needed to run 3.6s. I felt like we had a handle on it, but this is nitro racing. Things pop up and these cars can always show you who’s the boss.”

Force made several competitive runs in Charlotte, but the wheels came off in Chicago when Force’s 3.911 wasn’t quick enough to make the 16-car show. There were a lot of variables at play, but the fact that Force didn’t get down the track on Friday evening, and the large 22-car field didn’t help matters.”

Grubnic isn’t big on excuses but poor weather in Indy clearly paid a part in the result.

“We wanted to test in Indy before we went to Chicago but it rained for two days and we never got a chance,” he said. “I knew what changes I wanted to make but we never got an opportunity to make them. I went to Chicago thinking we were in the middle and we were closer to the edge. I want to run this car closer to the way it was in  2021 and 2022 but that clutch package is not available to us. We need to adapt to what’s available.”

After Chicago, the team participated in an extensive test session in Indy and Grubnic feels confident that progress was made.

“We completed 70 percent of our runs and that was by design,” he said. “Now, we need to focus on our race day performance. If we can qualify anywhere in the Top 5 I’m happy but the real key is going to be how we run on Sunday, especially on those days when the weather is hot. That’s what we’re about to be up against this summer.”

Back to that whole accountability thing. Grubnic is the last guy who’s going to point the finger at someone else. He’s the crew chief and ultimately, he’s responsible for the performance of the car.

“Our whole crew has been fabulous. They’re doing a standup job, and I know this car. It’s on me,” Grubnic said. “When you let down the biggest name in the sport, it sticks with you. It never leaves you, and I need to make it right and I will make it right.”