Bristol: Hillary Will Saturday notes

Hillary Will heads to eliminations No. 9 BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2007) -- On the newly resurfaced Bristol Dragway quarter-mile track this weekend, Hillary Will drove her KB Racing-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster to the No.

Hillary Will heads to eliminations No. 9

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 7, 2007) -- On the newly resurfaced Bristol Dragway quarter-mile track this weekend, Hillary Will drove her KB Racing-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster to the No. 9 position at the seventh annual NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals.

To celebrate the Fourth of July, tomorrow she and her team would like to drive the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed dragster to the winner's circle. For Will a win here at Bristol Dragway would be the first of her NHRA career.

A win would also go a long way to move Will closer to a spot in the elite eight drivers that will move to the second segment of the Countdown to the Championship. Will's quest for the winner's circle begins with J. R. Todd, who qualified No. 8 with an elapsed time of 4.642 seconds.

With six races left in the first segment of the countdown, including this race, the top five Top Fuel drivers in NHRA POWERade points seem fairly secure in their bid to move to the next segment. But from six through 12, it's a toss up. Looking at the Top Fuel standings you find "Hot" Rod Fuller in first with 786 points. Fuller is followed by Larry Dixon in second with 688 points; J.R. Todd in third (677); Brandon Bernstein No. 4 (671); and Tony Schumacher is fifth with 655 points. Will's Kalitta Motorsports teammate, Dave Grubnic is six with 533 points. Then there is only a gap of 133 points back to Grubnic's teammate Doug Kalitta in 12th with 466 points

On the bubble in the top eight is Melanie Troxel with 519 points, who trails Bob Vandergriff in seventh by five points. She is followed by Whit Bazemore (ninth) who is 7 points behind Troxel. Then come Cory McClenathan (No. 10), 32 points out of eight; Will (No. 11), 49 points behind Troxel; and Kalitta, 53 points back. (For a brief description of the Countdown to the Championship, see below.)

The point picture will be slightly clearer after tomorrow's eliminations.

ELIMINATIONS: Note the later start: Final eliminations for the NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals begin for all teams at 12 noon on Sunday, July 8. All qualifying and eliminations times are local Bristol time (ET) and subject to change.

-credit: kbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Whit Bazemore , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Bob Vandergriff , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will , J.R. Todd