Eliminations postponed for the 2008 U.S.A. v. Australia Top Fuel Showdown
BLACKTOWN, Australia, (Dec. 27, 2008) -- NHRA Top Fuel star Hillary Will, the world's fastest female, qualified her 8,000-horsepower dragster in the No. 3 (5.013 seconds, 213.47 mph) spot for Saturday's final eliminations of the Shannons U.S.A. v. Australia Top Fuel Showdown at Western Sydney Int'l Dragway in Sydney, Australia, but unfortunately rained moved into the area late in the day and has postponed eliminations until tomorrow.
Will, a 28-year old native of Fortuna, Calif., is the only American competing in the event. She and the other seven competitors in tomorrow's Top Fuel eliminations will be vying to win the inaugural Scott Kalitta Memorial Trophy. Will is set to race against No. 6 qualifier (5.519 sec., 197.94 mph) Mark Mariani in round one of eliminations.
Racing will resume at 11:00 a.m. (local) with a determination of the time for the first round of Top Fuel to be made tomorrow morning.
The 2008 racing season was the best of Hillary Will's three-year career as a professional driver. Will became the fastest woman in the world when she posted a 335-MPH lap down the quarter-mile race track at the first event in the 2008 NHRA season. Will then powered her 8,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled dragster to a career-high fourth place finish in championship points after scoring three final-round finishes and five semi-final round finishes. She picked up an emotional first NHRA national event title in Topeka, Kan., June 1, 2008.
Scott Kalitta, a teammate of Will's at Kalitta Motorsports and the 2005 and 2006 champion of the U.S.A. vs. Australia Top Fuel Showdown, died June 21, 2008, from injuries he suffered in a high-speed Funny Car racing accident at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park during qualifying for the NHRA national event in Englishtown, N.J.
Scott, the son of Kalitta Motorsports team owner and drag racing legend Connie Kalitta, was a two-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion (1994-1995) and the winner of 18 NHRA national events (17 Top Fuel, 1 Funny Car). Scott is survived by his father, Connie; wife, Kathy; and sons, Corey, 15, and Colin, 9.
Scott continues to hold the Australian Top Fuel speed record, 332.84 mph, set in December, 2006, at WSID with Oberhofer at the helm. On that lap, Scott also posted the quickest Top Fuel time ever on Australian soil, 4.517 seconds.
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta.