Round 1 forgettable for Team Pennzoil DALLAS (April 23) - The opening round of professional qualifying for the Third Annual Lone Star Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts was a forgettable one for Team Pennzoil. None of the three Pennzoil...
Round 1 forgettable for Team Pennzoil DALLAS (April 23) - The opening round of professional qualifying for the Third Annual Lone Star Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts was a forgettable one for Team Pennzoil. None of the three Pennzoil pros in attendance managed to complete their opening round laps under power due to traction problems they suffered on Texas Motorplex's usually reliable all-concrete quarter-mile strip.
Here's a brief description of each Pennzoil driver's Round 1 pass.
Eddie Hill, the driver of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, lost traction and smoked his tires just off the launching pad during his opening lap. Hill, a native Texan who calls nearby Wichita Falls home, elected to switch his car off and drifted through the timing lights in 9.992 seconds at 77.54 mph to claim the 16th and final qualifying spot.
'We tried to set the car up with the possibility of rain in mind and we ended up being a little too conservative," Hill said. 'We just didn't have enough momentum and shook the tires. Like many of our fellow Top Fuelers, we missed the tune-up by a fraction. We still have a ton of data for this track and we should be able to make a considerably better run tonight."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, followed the pattern of the rest of the field and failed to make it down the right-hand lane under power. Like most of his fellow competitors, Thomas lost traction in the center of the track and decided to click his car off to avoid an accident. His official numbers saw an 8.074-second pass at 125.71 mph.
'I feel like we made as good a run as possible under these conditions," Thomas said. "Our incremental times up until the car let go were as some of the best of the session. There was a severe oil-down problem in the middle of the track and no one has made an attempt to clean it up. Our car is ready to rock and tonight should be a perfect time to post a quick time."
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, also had problems in the questionable right-hand lane and was forced to abort his first-round pass. The Arlington resident made it through three gears before the back end of his car jumped out of the groove and turned his machine sideways. He went on to post a 9.795-second, 95.67-mph lap.
"Getting that far out of shape really caught me by surprise," Allen said. "We've been testing a lot over the last few weeks and the car has had bouts of minor tire shake I've been able to drive through. I thought that's what was happening here and then just like that, we were sideways. There's transmission fluid all over the track from a Comp car that ran before us. It also didn't help that we were the first pair out. It's still pathetic they didn't clean up better."