Baytown: Hillary Will final summary

Will turned back in opening round at Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) -- After another rain delay to follow the washout of yeasterday, eliminations for the 20th annual NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park got underway ...

Will turned back in opening round at Houston

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) -- After another rain delay to follow the washout of yeasterday, eliminations for the 20th annual NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park got underway at approximately 2 p.m. central time today.

As the first pair down the track since Friday, Hillary Will, who placed her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster in the No. 8 qualifying position, was paired against the No. 9 qualifier, Joe Hartley.

Will, who celebrated her 27th birthday today, didn't receive the present she wanted most -- a win. Neither dragster ran a picture perfect race, but it was Hartley who reached the finish line first.

Will had a great reaction time -- 0.015 seconds -- but carried the front end. She brought it down and the car went into tire shake. She got off the throttle but the tire shake pushed it toward the centerline. She stayed off the cone and drove it back into the groove, but by that time it was too late to catch Hartley.

While Will was going through her run, Hartley looked good to about half-track then had some tire spin but took the win light as Will had shut it down and coasted the rest of the way to the end.

"We were in a tough position because we were the first pair out on a track that nobody had been on since Friday," said Will. "I didn't envy my crew chief, Jim Oberhofer, who had to make the [tuning] call with really no information to go on. As a driver I just drive but his call was tough. We look forward to moving next to Las Vegas, the hometown of our owners Ken and Judy Black and their son Kenny."

NEXT RACE: The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series now moves west to Las Vegas for the 8th annual NHRA Summit Racing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 12-15.

-credit: kb racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Joe Hartley , Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will