Denver: Hillary Will preview

Will sets sights on last half of the season beginning at Denver MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) -- When qualifying for the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals gets underway on Friday at Bandimere Speedway, near Denver, Hillary Will begins the ...

Will sets sights on last half of the season beginning at Denver

MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) -- When qualifying for the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals gets underway on Friday at Bandimere Speedway, near Denver, Hillary Will begins the second half of her rookie season, a season that thus far has been a learning experience for the former Northern California driver, who now resides in Ypsilanti, Mich.

"It's difficult to rank my season so far on a scale from one to ten," said Will. "If I base the ranking on how much I have learned thus far, it would be a ten. Rookie seasons are all about learning, and the amount that I have learned is off the charts. Although, our win/loss record isn't what I would like it to be and I have made some mistakes, I am improving and headed in the right direction.

"One of the biggest things I have learned is what a great team I am a part of. Thankfully, [team owner] Ken Black is behind us one hundred percent. We have a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

Will, who drives the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel Dragster, plans to use Denver as the stepping stone to apply her learning experience for the last half of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing.

"Our main goal is to win rounds," reflected Will on the eve of the Mopar Mile-High Nationals. "We have proven that our KB Racing dragster is very consistent. I believe it will continue to be even though we are going to be on some hot, challenging race tracks this summer.

"I have only been to Bandimere Speedway one other time. I raced Super Gas there in 2003. I know that it is always a challenging place to conquer because of the high altitude, but I have full confidence that my team knows how to attack the track."

Crew chief Jim Oberhofer, known to most as Jim O, has been to the Denver track, which has the highest elevation of any track on the circuit, numerous times and plans to use his past history and experience to assist Will in making a successful start to the back half of the season.

"Every year we race in Denver we go back to our notes from the previous year," said Jim O. "Denver is the only race during the season that we are able to run 90 percent nitro and an unlimited amount of rear wing angle. We have had some good success at Denver in the past with all of the Kalitta Cars. Scott Kalitta won this race in 2004 and we will look at those notes for a starting point for the KB Racing dragster.

"Hillary has all the basics down. Hopefully down the homestretch we'll begin to make some noise and both the fans and potential sponsors will jump on the KB Racing bandwagon. My wish is to win rounds, which in turn can win races and let Hillary drive to Rookie of the Year."

In a year that women drivers are putting a mark on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Will, who is No. 10 in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings, is one of the leading candidates for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award (Rookie of the Year).

Qualifying for Will and her KB Racing LLC Top Fuel dragster begins with two nitro sessions on Friday, July 14, scheduled for 5 and 8 p.m. and concludes with two additional sessions on Saturday, July 15, at 3:30 and 6 p.m. Will begins her quest for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals Top Fuel title on Sunday, July 16, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 12 noon. All times are local Denver time (MT) and subject to change at anytime.

-kbr/km-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will , Ken Black