Baytown: Hillary Will Saturday summary

Hillary Will faces Doug Herbert in tomorrow's eliminations Qualified No. 14 BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2006) -- With qualifying now in the NHRA history books, Hillary Will qualified No. 14 on the final qualifying ladder for the 19th annual NHRA...

Hillary Will faces Doug Herbert in tomorrow's eliminations Qualified No. 14

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2006) -- With qualifying now in the NHRA history books, Hillary Will qualified No. 14 on the final qualifying ladder for the 19th annual NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals being held this weekend at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, near Houston.

"We're not happy with our qualifying this weekend," said Will following the four qualifying sessions. "We're a much better car than we've showed here this weekend and we definitely have the team and crew to be able to compete with the best out here. It's disappointing. We've found a few things that should make us a better car for tomorrow and we'll be ready."

On Friday, in the opening session Will covered the Houston Raceway Park quarter-mile in her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster in 4.645 seconds. It was a good opening pass for Will even though the car made a slight sashay as it neared the top end of the track. In the evening session on Friday, the dragster was on a good pass but made a hard left and Will wisely shut the car down and coasted through the finish line timing lights, recording a pass of 4.971 seconds. The rookie driver, in only her fourth professional race, handled both passes like a seasoned veteran.

As the first pro session started on Saturday, concern surfaced about the condition of the track. There were some good runs, but they were few and far between. A number of things played a part in crew chiefs' consternation over the racing surface -- heat, humidity and water seepage.

Only five of the 20 Top Fuel cars that ran in Saturday's first session ran in the four-second range. Will had one of the good passes, running a 4.660. In the final qualifying sessions, Will crossed the finish line strip in 4.660 seconds once again and ended the day in the No. 14 position.

Will faces Doug Herbert in the opening round tomorrow. Herbert qualified No. 3 with a pass of 4.537 seconds at 310.27. This will be the first time that Will goes against Herbert in competition.

Will begins her quest for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals Top Fuel title on Sunday, April 2, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Houston time (CT) and subject to change at anytime. Note: Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, April 2.

-kbr/km

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Hillary Will