POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) â€“ The first round of the Big Bud Shootout was controlled by Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill, who ran the best lap of the session when he covered the Pomona Raceway strip in 4.600 seconds at 315.12 mph. The run was the...
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) – The first round of the Big Bud Shootout was controlled by Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill, who ran the best lap of the session when he covered the Pomona Raceway strip in 4.600 seconds at 315.12 mph. The run was the fastest of Hill’s 44-year career and the second fastest lap of the opening round. The Shootout is a special event that pits the top eight qualifiers of the season against one another.
Hill’s pass also counted as his third qualifying run for the 34th Annual Winston Finals and moved him up one spot on the Top Fuel qualifying ladder into the No. 3 slot.
Here’s is a complete wrap-up of all of the Pennzoil driver’s Round 3 laps.
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, defeated Mike Dunn in the opening round of the Big Bud Shootout. Dunn smoked his tires off the starting line and aborted his run. His official time was 9.710 seconds at 92.59 mph.
“Wasn’t that awesome,” Hill said as he climbed from the cockpit. “There’s another career-best and I couldn’t think of a better time to pull one out. We tweaked some things and I figured we’d be faster at the top end. The changes really helped us on the mph end of things. It’s a thrill to be the best of the session. That’s the cream of the crop out there and to be the best of the group for even one round is a real credit to our team. Having lane choice is a real bonus. We’ll need every advantage we can get against (Gary) Scelzi. He’s proven time and again that he’s the best.”
Hill will have lane choice in Round 2 over back-to-back Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi, who opened with a 4.682-second, 295.85-mph win over Larry Dixon. Scelzi has won three of four races against Hill this season.
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, posted another six-second pass when he tripped the lights in 6.969 seconds at 198.98 mph in Round 3. His opening pass of 6.950 seconds at 199.24 mph is still his best of the event and is good enough to keep him in ninth place in the field.
“We keep taking clutch out and we still haven’t quite found the mark yet,” Thomas said. “The car is running real well. We’ve been consistent, which is something you strive for, but I still believe we can go a lot faster. We just got bumped out of the top half and we’re going to do everything we can to go faster this afternoon to get back in the top eight. Lane choice could be critical tomorrow.”
Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, carded his best lap of the weekend when he covered the quarter-mile in 7.005 seconds at 196.42 mph. The improvement wasn’t enough to put Allen into the field of 16 drivers who will advance to Sunday’s elimination round. He currently occupies the 23rd spot on the ladder. Allen will have one more chance to improve this afternoon.
“That was a better run in relation to the rest of the field but we’re still way off,” crew chief Dave Reher said. “Even if that was a perfect run, which it wasn’t, but if we had just killed the track, then it might have been a 6.98 at best. It’s not looking good (for us making the field.) Unless there’s a bunch of oil downs and the round is really delayed until it cools off, then we’re probably finished. We’ll continue to work and we won’t give up at all. It just feels like one of those races when it’s not going to happen.”