Brainerd Pennzoil Friday Afternoon Report

BRAINERD, Minn. - The professional drag racers of Team Pennzoil took full advantage of a cool Minnesota evening by moving their cars towards the front of their respective brackets as qualifying for the VisionAire NorthStar Nationals continued ...

BRAINERD, Minn. - The professional drag racers of Team Pennzoil took full advantage of a cool Minnesota evening by moving their cars towards the front of their respective brackets as qualifying for the VisionAire NorthStar Nationals continued Friday night at Brainerd International Raceway. A break in the humidity and the cooler track temperatures allowed all three Pennzoil pros in attendance to improve their ladder positions in Round 2.

Here's a brief recap of each driver's day at the track.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Dragster, thrilled the near-capacity crowd in Round 2 with a thundering quarter-mile trip of 4.693 seconds at 300.30 mph. The pass pushed Hill from the 15th to the No. 6 position heading into Saturday's final two qualifying rounds.

"The good news is that we're safely in the show," Hill said. "The not-so-good news is that we left a lot of power at the starting line. We decided on a very conservative set-up in Round 2 because we wanted to be absolutely certain that we qualified in the upper half. We just couldn't afford to spin the tires. I still believe we can run faster tomorrow morning. It all depends on the conditions. I know that we sure like how the car is running."

Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pontiac, stayed near the top of the ultra-competitive Pro Stock bracket when he scorched the track with a 7.059-second pass at 194.67 mph. Allen's time moved him from fourth place into the No. 3 qualifying spot.

"It feels great to have two solid opening day runs," Allen said. "We did pretty good in the morning session but I knew we could run quicker. We adjusted the rear shocks, the clutch and moved some weight around in between rounds and it obviously responded well. It's a fine line between a great run and a mediocre run. I'm not entirely comfortable with the field yet. A lot of changes could happen if we get some rain and the weather cools."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac, jumped from the tenuous 16th position to the upper half of the field when he recorded a nighttime pass of 7.067 seconds at 194.84 mph. Thomas is now in the seventh position with two more rounds yet to be run.

"The evening run was better than the earlier one, but we can still go a lot faster," Thomas said. "The Pennzoil Pontiac has a lot more power than we've shown so far. We had way too much clutch earlier and we still had a little bit too much clutch in Round 2. We're getting excited in our pit because we now know exactly what adjustments need to be made. I predict we'll move up to the top of the field in the morning."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen