Phoenix: Hillary Will final summary

Hillary Will gets first round win at Phoenix CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 26, 2006) -- After qualifying in the No. 12 position, Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta-managed Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the quarterfinals ...

Hillary Will gets first round win at Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 26, 2006) -- After qualifying in the No. 12 position, Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta-managed Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the quarterfinals during today's eliminations at the NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals.

Will captured her first round win in competition when she defeated Brandon Bernstein, who qualified fifth, in an unusual first round. The round was unusual in the fact that at the green light Bernstein never left the starting line (no oil pressure) until very late, while Will raced to the win light in 4.531 seconds. Will's 328.78 mph on that run is the top speed of her career thus far in two races.

When asked after the round win if this was an event that she would never forget, Will said "definitely." One never forgets the firsts in one's life. Will is no exception.

Not only was it the first round win for Will, it was the first round win in Top Fuel for team owner Ken Black, who has had numerous wins with his two Pro Stock teams.

In the second round, Will had lane choice over "Hot Rod" Fuller and took the left lane. At the top end of the Firebird International Raceway (FIR) quarter-mile it was Fuller across the finish line stripe first in 4.509 seconds. Will crossed just behind with an elapsed time of 4.562 seconds.

"We're pleased that we went down the track on both runs today," said Will. "It was exciting to get our first round win of the year. Now we need more and need to string the round wins together."

The team will stay at FIR to test. Will's crew chief Jim Oberhofer (known to all as Jim O.) discussed what they hope to learn during the additional testing. "I'm hoping that the track will be hot and nasty. If the track gets up to about 120 degrees, that would be great. With a lot of hot weather ahead, we want to be able to run 4.5 second passes on nasty racetracks. That definitely would help us to prepare for Gainesville, as the weather can always turn to the hot side there," said Jim O.

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series now moves to the East Coast when the ACDelco Gatornationals unfolds at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway, March 16-19.

-kbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Brandon Bernstein , Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will , Ken Black