Atlanta Pennzoil qualifying notes

Pennzoil gang fully loaded for Race Day COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) -- For the first time since February the entire complement of Pennzoil-sponsored pro drivers will be battling for the title of a National Hot Rod Association event. The last race ...

Pennzoil gang fully loaded for Race Day

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) -- For the first time since February the entire complement of Pennzoil-sponsored pro drivers will be battling for the title of a National Hot Rod Association event. The last race where all three Pennzoil pilots competed together on Race Day occurred three months ago in Phoenix. This time around the crown of the 19th Advance Auto Parts Nationals is the Holy Grail the team will be chasing Sunday at Atlanta Dragway.

Here's a brief recap of each driver's successful qualifying session.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, was on his game in the third round when he blasted down the track in 4.668 seconds at 309.63 mph. The time earned Hill the fifth qualifying position and sets up a Sunday morning showdown with Jim Head, who finished qualifying in the No. 12 spot with a lap of 4.767 seconds at 289.14 mph.

"We rebounded nicely today and I couldn't be happier," Hill said. " To jump up into the top half of the field and to earn lane choice is a nice accomplishment for us. Our good run came in the right-hand lane so we have some real good data to work from. Performance-wise, we had one of the best laps of this race on that side. We all know that anything can happen on Sunday, but I sure do like where we'll be starting from when the real racing starts."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, used the 6.941-second lap at 198.85 mph he ran in Round 2 to place his car in the No. 3 spot on the qualifying ladder. Thomas will open his title chase against Kurt Johnson, who qualified 14th with a 6.990-second pass at 198.96 mph. Thomas will have the advantage of lane choice.

"This was a nice qualifying session for us," Thomas said. "It's gre at to be one of the frontrunners and the way the Pennzoil crew has this car running, I really like our chances heading into tomorrow. Kurt will be a handful to open against. He's the No. 1 guy in the points right now for a reason -- he's a great driver with a great car. I'll have to be on m y game to get by him. It should be a real battle."

Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, grabbed the No. 13 spot in the 16-car field after posting a 6.988-second run at 198.58 mph Saturday morning. Allen will square off against Jim Yates (6.943 seconds at 197.36 mph) in Sunday's opening round of eliminations.

"We get to play on Sunday so we've accomplished our No. 1 goal," Alle n said. "Of course we would've loved to have been higher up the ladder bu t we're in and that at least gives us a chance to win. We've run well in both lanes, which is very encouraging. Now we need to watch the weather and the track, run as fast as we can and we'll see what happens."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Mike Thomas , Kurt Johnson , Bruce Allen