AFTER SUCCESSFUL U.S. NATIONALS RUN, WILL LOOKS FOR ANOTHER DIVISIONAL WIN
FALLON, Nev. (Sept. 8, 2005) - Two-time NHRA winner Hillary Will went into drag racing's marquee event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, with more than a few unanswered questions. With tuner Bucky Austin unable to attend and at his home in Tacoma, Wash. more than 2,000 miles away from the storied Indianapolis drag strip, Will and her Girl Power Racing team would have to battle the toughest field of the NHRA season short-handed. With the luxury of modern conveniences like cell phones and Wifi, Will and the Girl Power Racing crew kept in constant contact with Austin as the Northern California driver qualified second and raced to a runner-up finish at Indy.
Nearly besting the field at Indy is a nice consolation, but the competitive 25-year-old racer and her team have bigger things in mind, those being race wins and a shot at the 2005 NHRA Top Alcohol dragster championship. Will, who captured her first career victory at the NHRA national event in Las Vegas in April, eyes a second NHRA Division Six victory (Mission, B.C. in August) as the NHRA Division Six competitors head to Top Gun Raceway in Fallon, Nev., Sept. 9-11.
"Indy wasn't even on our schedule and we didn't plan on going there until just a few weeks before the race," Will said. "Thanks to the help of Mac Tools and Bucky's (Austin) tuning ability, we were able to have a successful event and almost walked away with the win. Losing is no fun, so hopefully we can get back on the winning track this weekend at Fallon."
Last month, Will and Austin doubled-up at Mission (B.C.) Raceway Park as she earned the Top Alcohol dragster (TAD) win, while Austin grabbed the Top Alcohol Funny Car (TAFC) crown. After a brief summer break, Austin will be back at the track pulling double-duty at Top Gun Raceway driving his Pontiac flopper and calling the shots for Will's 270-mph blow alcohol dragster.
"Things have been really hectic lately testing Scott's (Kalitta's) dragster at Indy and then competing at the U.S. Nationals, but I'm excited to try and win another race," Will said. "With Bucky (Austin) back with us I think we should be able to run some quick times. So, as long as I'm on my game, we have a great shot to win this weekend."
Since being named to drive a fourth Kalitta Motorsports dragster in 2006, the rising drag racing star earned her Top Fuel license two weeks ago during the Indy test session when she blasted Kalitta's 8,000 horsepower dragster to a 4.67-second pass. With the questions about her racing future clearly planned out, the only thing that remains a question mark is where the Girl Power Racing team will finish in the 2005 standings. A win at Fallon could give Will and Co. the answer they're looking for.
Racing action begins at 8:15 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Nevada drag strip, with qualifying in the Top Alcohol classes scheduled at 4 p.m. The TAD and TAFC competitors will again qualify again at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Final eliminations kick off at Noon on Sunday, Sept. 11.