Columbus: Hillary Will Saturday summary

Will hopes to duplicate Muldowney's win here 30 years ago KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio (May 20, 2006) -- Hillary Will ended qualifying for the NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment in the No. 14 qualifying position. In...

Will hopes to duplicate Muldowney's win here 30 years ago

KIRKERSVILLE, Ohio (May 20, 2006) -- Hillary Will ended qualifying for the NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment in the No. 14 qualifying position.

In the opening session of qualifying on Friday, Will's KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster lost traction in the left lane and smoked the big Goodyears before coasting to a pass of 10.370 seconds.

In Friday evening's session, Will moved to the right lane. As the car was heading toward the finish line her 7000-plus horsepower dragster began moving left toward the center of the track and eventually crossed the centerline putting her car behind Bob Vandergriff's UPS dragster, which had just pulled the chutes to slow so that he could exit the National Trail Raceway quarter-mile track.

Using her driving experience and instincts, Will drove to Vandergriff's left between his car and the wall, missing any entanglement in the chutes, and slowed her dragster to a stop without any additional problems. Her KB Racing dragster suffered some minor damaged, but her Kalitta Motorsports' crew, led by crew chief Jim Oberhofer, had the car ready for Saturday's two final qualifying runs.

On Saturday, Will made a strong statement going straight down Broadway with her best run of qualifying, a 4.624 seconds pass. Now she can concentrate on winning just as her mentor Shirley Muldowney did here 30 years ago.

"For me to get my first win here at Columbus would be pretty special for me since Shirley got her first win here," said Will following qualifying. "Just having Shirley's support and knowing that she is there for me has been special and as rookie this year she has helped me so much. Our team is ready to win this weekend, so hopefully we can do it."

In the opening round of eliminations, Will now squares off against No. 3 qualifier "Hot Rod" Fuller, who covered the quarter-mile in 4.516 seconds. This will be the second meeting for the pair, with Fuller taking the win light at Phoenix.

-kbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Jim Oberhofer , Bob Vandergriff , Hillary Will