Hillary Will nominated for 2006 Future Award

Hillary Will, who drives the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, was one of four drivers nominated for the 2006 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, presented by NHRA and the Automobile...

Hillary Will, who drives the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, was one of four drivers nominated for the 2006 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, presented by NHRA and the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The award, which is decided by a distinguished panel of auto racing journalists, is presented to the outstanding rookie driver in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series four professional classes -- Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

"I feel honored to have been nominated for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award," said Will after hearing of the nomination. "I'm thankful that AAA continues to be so supportive of the future drag racing. Many of the past nominees have and are having great careers in NHRA drag racing. I feel that my KB Racing team and I have a bright future in the sport and I appreciate AAA Automobile Club of Southern California and NHRA for recognizing and honoring us for that."

The 2006 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, along with a check for $20,000 and trophy, will be presented during the NHRA's annual championship awards ceremony on Monday, Nov. 13 at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Will, 26, from Fortuna, Calif., who now lives in Ypsilanti, Mich., powered her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster to a runner-up finish at Memphis. She posted semifinal finishes at Englishtown and Sonoma and is currently ninth in the NHRA POWERade Series Top Fuel standings, the highest ranked rookie driver in the professional classes. She qualified a season-high second at Denver and clocked career-best performances of 4.507 seconds, 328.78 mph.

Will's KB Racing dragster has been one of the most consistently quick of the season and her team is ranked third in the NHRA Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge standings.

In addition to Will, three other rookie drivers -- Alan Bradshaw (Top Fuel), Max Naylor (Pro Stock), and J.R. Todd (Top Fuel) are nominated for this year's award.

More than 100 of the nation's most distinguished auto racing journalists will select the winner through a voting system based on the following criteria: number of events participated, performance on and off the race track, participation in NHRA promotions and relationships with fans, sponsors and media.

In 2002, the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award and the NHRA Rookie of the Year Award were combined to create one award recognizing the future stars of the sport. Past winners of the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award have developed into some of NHRA's biggest stars, including Tony Pedregon (1996, Funny Car), Ron Capps (1997, Funny Car), Doug Kalitta (1998, Top Fuel), Antron Brown (1999, Pro Stock Motorcycle), Melanie Troxel (2000, Top Fuel), GT Tonglet (2001, Pro Stock Motorcycle), Gene Wilson (2002, Pro Stock); Brandon Bernstein (2003, Top Fuel); Jason Line (2004, Pro Stock); and Robert Hight (2005, Funny Car).

Recent NHRA Rookie of the Year winners have included the late Darrell Russell (2001, Top Fuel), Don Lampus (2000, Top Fuel), Scotty Cannon (1999, Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin (1998, Pro Stock), Gary Scelzi (1997, Top Fuel) and co-winners in 1996, Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

The Automobile Club of Southern California is the largest affiliate of AAA. Today, the Auto Club's members benefit by the organization's emergency road service, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services, automotive pricing, buying and financing programs and automotive testing and analysis.

-credit: kb racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Scotty Cannon , Brandon Bernstein , Don Lampus , Alan Bradshaw , Jason Line , GT Tonglet , Robert Hight , Max Naylor , Hillary Will , J.R. Todd , Mike Edwards