Commerce: Hillary Will preview

As she pushes toward the top eight, Hillary Will's agenda at Atlanta is to go rounds COMMERCE, Ga. (April 24, 2007) -- As a rule, drivers on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series approach each race with the primary thought of winning the event...

As she pushes toward the top eight, Hillary Will's agenda at Atlanta is to go rounds

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 24, 2007) -- As a rule, drivers on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series approach each race with the primary thought of winning the event and a thought in the back of their minds about the points race. This year, with the new format to crown a champion in the four professional classes, points sometimes come to the forefront more often than not; as only eight drivers will continue on to contend for the championship after the 17-race first segment.

Such is the case for Top Fuel driver Hillary Will who has her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed dragster tied for the 13th position after 5 of the 17 races, just 66 points out of the eighth spot, entering this weekend's event -- the 27th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

"I know that we are tied with Doug Kalitta's Mac Tools team, and normally that would be a good thing. However, being in 13th is not a place where either of us wants to be," said Will as she reviewed the standings. "We are working together more as a team at Kalitta Motorsports and I'm sure it will benefit us all in the long run. It is very important for us to make it into the top eight and I am confident that we can still do so.

"I think I speak for our entire team when I say I definitely do not want to know what it feels like to be sitting outside the elite eight after Indy. I honestly don't count points but I do count round wins. My immediate goal is to win rounds for our team. I can't wait to give our team owners, the Black family, their first top fuel "Wally." My crew chief, Jim Oberhofer, said he can't wait to give Ken Black a winner's jacket."

Will also indicated that this race, which is sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment, would be an ideal race for her to notch her first NHRA win, as Summit Racing is an associate sponsor on Will's dragster and the primary backer for the Pontiac Pro Stock cars of her KB Racing teammates, Greg Anderson and Jason Line.

The second year professional driver knows that a strong finish is a must and will be a benefit this year in NHRA's new format -- Countdown to the Championship.

In its simplest form, the Countdown breaks the $50 million, 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season up into three distinct sections: the 17-race Countdown to 8, the four-race Countdown to 4 and the two-race Countdown to 1.

After the 17 regular season races all teams will continue vying for points, but only the top eight drivers advance into the first round of the four-race playoffs with the top driver being assigned 2,070 points and each of the remaining drivers 10 fewer points each (eighth-place is assigned 2,000 points).

The top four drivers after the four-race playoff will have their points reassigned again in 10-point increments with the first-place driver receiving 3,030 and the fourth-place driver 3,000 and move to the championship rounds.

The championship will then be determined over the final two races -- the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas and the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona -- with those final four drivers competing for the 2007 NHRA POWERade Series championships.

-credit: kb racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Jason Line , Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will , Ken Black