Hill posts quickest lap of Round 1 KENT, Wash. (Aug. 1) -- Top Fuel stalwart Eddie Hill provided the biggest thrill of the opening round of elimination racing at the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals when he covered the quarter-mile strip...
Hill posts quickest lap of Round 1
KENT, Wash. (Aug. 1) -- Top Fuel stalwart Eddie Hill provided the biggest thrill of the opening round of elimination racing at the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals when he covered the quarter-mile strip of Seattle International Raceway with the quickest pass of the session.
Hill's amazing 4.613-second lap at 308.64 mph buried first round opponent Tim Gibson and set up a classic quarterfinal showdown with fellow legend Kenny Bernstein (4.766 seconds at 300.32 mph.) Hill's superior lap earns him lane choice over Bernstein. The advantage could prove to be the difference as lane choice accounted for seven of eight first-round wins.
"The car responded perfectly to our tune-up," Hill said. "Yesterday, we were the quickest car of the day and I said that it would be cool if we could say that on Race Day. So far we can. It's an awesome feeling. But I really want to be able to say it at the end of the day. Having lane choice over Kenny should help us. The left lane is so tough to get down. If the weather holds as it is now, we should be able to use the same tune-up and duplicate our last run."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, suffered clutch linkage problems as he was staging his car against Mike Trumble Jr. and rolled through the starting lights before the tree was activated. The mistake immediately disqualified him.
"We changed out rear ends this morning and obviously something wasn't right," Thomas said. "We didn't have lane choice so I knew we had to do something to make the car launch better than it had been. The call we made didn't work. I mean I had the line lock pressed but as soon as I hit the gas the car jumped through the lights."
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, lost his Round 1 race against John Nobile when his car severely spun its tires. Allen posted a partially shut-off lap of 8.210 seconds at 119.19 mph to Nobile's 7.146-second, 194.66-mph pass.
"Second and third gear were almost non-existent because the car was spinning so bad," Allen said. "I tried to shift through the spin but John was already gone by that point. No one got down that side of the track but that's our own fault. We should have qualified better and then we would have had lane choice. We ran well here but we didn't reach the expectations I had prior to this weekend."