Richmond: Hillary Will final report

Hillary Will races to runner-up finish in Richmond; Moves into 2nd place in points RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 12, 2008) -- The world's fastest female Hillary Will, driving the 8,000-horsepower Palm Beach Int'l Raceway Top Fuel dragster for KB Racing,...

Hillary Will races to runner-up finish in Richmond; Moves into 2nd place in points

RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 12, 2008) -- The world's fastest female Hillary Will, driving the 8,000-horsepower Palm Beach Int'l Raceway Top Fuel dragster for KB Racing, LLC, came up just one round short of her second win of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Sunday during final eliminations of the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va. However, with her final-round appearance, Will moved up from 5th to 2nd place in POWERade championship points.

Will, the No. 2 qualifier (3.799 sec., 315.49 mph), dispatched of No. 15 qualifier T.J. Zizzo in round one of Sunday's eliminations. In the quarterfinals, Will defeated her Kalitta Motorsports teammate Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL Top Fuel dragster, in a great side-by-side drag race, 3.877 seconds, 306.12 mph to 3.882 sec., 302.14 mph. Will made her third final-round trip of the 2008 NHRA season after vanquishing Doug Herbert in the semifinals, 3.837 sec., 302.96 mph to 5.604 sec., 142.97 mph.

In the final round of the 16-car eliminations, Will matched up against the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster. Will got the starting line advantage over her opponent, .078 seconds to .091 seconds, once the lights went green, but she ended up coming in second place for the event by a mere .023 seconds at the 1,000-ft. finish line stripe, 3.847 sec., 307.09 mph to 3.811 sec., 316.08 mph.

"We were so close and I never saw him, so I thought we had it," Will, a 28-year old native of Fortuna, Calif., said. "I'm so thankful to be driving our car for this team. Jim 'O' (Oberhofer, crew chief) and our team always gives me an awesome car to drive. We did our best against a great team and we just didn't get it, but I'm very proud of our team.

"We were running our KB Racing, LLC car for Palm Beach International Raceway for the first time this weekend and we went to the finals, so I hope we made them proud, too. We went from fifth to second in points, and that's a really big deal to us. It's the highest we've ever been in points. Sure, I'm disappointed we lost, but we have nothing to be down about. It was a great weekend"

Will is currently the only female driver competing in the Top Fuel class.

Will's team of mechanics, led by Oberhofer, won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Award for qualifying excellence at the Richmond event. Will's 3.799-second (1,000 ft.) lap in qualifying made her the quickest female in NHRA history.

Will is in 2nd place in POWERade championship points and in the NHRA Countdown to 1 postseason. There are now only two events remaining in the 2008 Countdown to the Championship.

Will became the fastest woman in the history of NHRA drag racing when she posted a 334.65-mph lap down the quarter-mile race track at the first of event of the 2008 season in Pomona, Calif. Will became the fastest female in the NHRA's new 1,000-ft. era by crossing the track timers at 315.49 mph in Richmond.

A former standout in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, Will moved up to the quickest and fastest NHRA professional class, Top Fuel, in 2006 behind the wheel of a newly formed team owned by Las Vegas businessman Ken Black and managed by Kalitta Motorsports, the multi-car team founded and owned by drag racing icon Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. She won her first Top Fuel event trophy in Norwalk (IHRA) in her rookie season and made her first NHRA final-round appearance in Memphis later that year. She finished the season in 10th place in Top Fuel championship points in '06. Will picked up an emotional first NHRA national event title in Topeka, Kan., June 1, 2008.

-credit: km

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Hillary Will , Ken Black