Joliet: Hillary Will preview

Hillary Will looks for turning point at Route 66 race Focused on making the Countdown JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2007) -- The 10th annual NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals this weekend at Route 66 Raceway will mark the approximate halfway...

Hillary Will looks for turning point at Route 66 race Focused on making the Countdown

JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2007) -- The 10th annual NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals this weekend at Route 66 Raceway will mark the approximate halfway point in the first segment of the Countdown to the Championship and the time that all professional teams need to make their move if they are to remain in contention for a 2007 NHRA POWERade championship.

After the last race at Topeka, Jim Oberhofer (Jim O), crew chief on the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed dragster driven by Hillary Will, indicated that the team was running out of races and needed to make a move at the Chicago area track this weekend if they wanted to claim a spot in the championship chase. Will also is echoing Jim O's feelings as she prepares for the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals.

"We really need to make this race at Joliet the turning point to our season," said Will, now in her second season behind the wheel of the 8000-horsepower KB Racing Top Fuel dragster. "We are determined to make the top eight for the Countdown to the Championship, so it's critical that we start making our move now."

Qualifying is always important at every NHRA national event but as the races wind down in the first of three segments that comprise this year's Countdown to the Championship, qualifying well is very important entering Sunday's eliminations.

"Jim O emphasized how important Friday night qualifying is going to be," added Will. "We will be running at night under cool conditions so he feels that most of the teams will run their best qualifying time during that session. Making the 16-car field is getting tougher all the time and we're going to have run especially strong during that night session to get into the program."

Over the next nine races, which includes this weekend's race at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., Will needs to move from her current 12th position in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings to at least No. 8, not an impossible task for the Kalitta Motorsports-managed team. The 27-year-old Will enters this event with 295 points, just 101 points behind Whit Bazemore in eighth. With a total of 118 points available each race (138 if you set a national elapsed time record), there is still plenty of season left to overcome the deficit and the total amount doesn't have to be erased in just one race. Will, Jim O, and the KB Racing team are all aware that there is still plenty of opportunity left in this season.

Every individual associated with the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel Dragster is determined to make the Countdown to the Championship. So as Yogi Berra, the long-time baseball player for the NY Yankees said: "It ain't over 'til it's over," -- and the fat lady hasn't sung yet.

-credit: kbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will