COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) - A cool Saturday morning greeted the world's fastest drivers at Atlanta Dragway as qualifying for the 19th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals continued under sunny skies. Team Pennzoil driver Eddie Hill made the biggest...
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) - A cool Saturday morning greeted the world's fastest drivers at Atlanta Dragway as qualifying for the 19th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals continued under sunny skies. Team Pennzoil driver Eddie Hill made the biggest move of the session, jumping from 17th place to the No. 4 spot in the field. Hill's teammates Mike Thomas and Bruce Allen also managed to keep pace with the rest of the class in Round 3 and all three men now appear primed for a championship run on Sunday.
The following information encapsulates each driver's Round 3 pass.
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, dazzled the capacity crowd in attendance when he shot down the quarter mile strip in 4.668 seconds at 309.63 mph. It was Hill's first full run under power at this event.
"Everything pretty much ran exactly like it's supposed to," Hill said. "Aside from a lazy start, we were the quickest car out there from the 330-foot mark all the way through the finish line and that run has us so excited that we're going to shoot for the No. 1 spot this afternoon. The data shows that our slow start can be fixed and we're going to go for it."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, showed consistency in Round 3 with a 6.962-second lap at 198.35 mph. His Friday night run of 6.941 seconds at 198.85 mph remains his best pass of the weekend and left him in the No. 3 spot.
"The car is showing a lot of consistency which is exactly what a driver wants," Thomas said. "I wish we had the right-hand lane this lap because I think we would have been four or five hundreds of a second quicker over there. But if we get some good air this afternoon, we'll be able to move up. I like where we're at right now. With a little luck and a break here and there, we have a good chance of winning this thing. The car is that good."
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, duplicated his Friday night lap of 6.988 seconds during Round 3. The only difference for the 14-year pro was a slightly increased top speed of 198.58 mph. Allen's time left him in the 13th position on the qualifying ladder with one round of racing remaining.
"We're still trying to do better," Allen said. "We went left and got out of the groove for a moment and that robbed us of some time. But after the initial 60 feet that run was our best of the weekend. It was just that our first 60 feet were so bad that we ended up with the same elapsed time. Depending on the weather and time, we could go quicker tonight. I'd like to move up the ladder if we get a chance."