Houston Pennzoil Sunday Report

Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.info Organization: MNI - Motorsport News International Approved: jackd@motorsport.com From: Motorsport News International <press@motorsport.com> Followup-To: rec.autos.sport.misc Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 17:53:47 ...

Newsgroups: rec.autos.sport.info Organization: MNI - Motorsport News International Approved: jackd@motorsport.com From: Motorsport News International <press@motorsport.com> Followup-To: rec.autos.sport.misc Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 17:53:47 -0400 (EDT)

Pennzoil's day ends in Round 2

HOUSTON (April 11) -- The day started so well for Team Pennzoil.

Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill beat the best driver in the world in the opening round of the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park and ran well enough to have the advantage of lane choice in Round 2. Things were definitely looking up in the Pennzoil pits.

Then the wheels came off. Almost literally.

Hill severely smoked his tires just past the starting line of his quarterfinal race against Bob Vandergriff and the affable Texan watched hopelessly as his foe disappeared in the distance. The official marks saw Vandergriff take the win in 4.564 seconds at 322.27 mph to Hill's 11.752-second run at 83.97 mph.

"It'd be fair to say that we've been chasing an ignition problem all weekend," Hill said. "And one unfortunate by-product of chasing ignition problems is that you keep changing your tune-up based on the data you're getting from a marginal ignition. When you finally get the problem solved, like I think we did prior to Round 2, then sometimes your engine will go off like a bomb. That's what happened here.

"Gosh, I sure wish this hadn't happened here. I'll never get used to losing, ever, but it really hurts being here with all of our Pennzoil family. It's dang-sure frustrating. I sorely wanted to put the Pennzoil car into Pennzoil's Winner's Circle.

"We'll get there. The car continues to be one of the best out there and it's just a matter of time until all the pieces fall into place."

The race marked the 44th straight national event in which Hill has successfully qualified his Pennzoil machine for Race Day action. The streak is currently the third longest in the Top Fuel class. -30-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Vandergriff