Seattle: Hillary Will final report

Hillary Will suffers first-round loss to teammate in Seattle SEATTLE, Wash., (July 20, 2008) -- Sunday during eliminations of the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., just a few miles south of Seattle, Hillary...

Hillary Will suffers first-round loss to teammate in Seattle

SEATTLE, Wash., (July 20, 2008) -- Sunday during eliminations of the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., just a few miles south of Seattle, Hillary Will, driver of the 8,000-horsepower KB Racing, LLC Top Fuel dragster, had the unenviable task of running her Kalitta Motorsports teammate, Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL Top Fueler, in the opening round.

Will, the No. 9 qualifier (3.866 sec., 313.37 mph), and native Australian Grubnic, the No. 8 qualifier (3.862 sec., 302.69 mph), were the first pair of race cars to "Go the Grand" Sunday morning under beautiful skies in the Emerald State. The two teammates left the starting line at the same time, but both rails had problems maintaining traction down the pavement course. Grubnic's charge was able to "stay stuck" just a tad better, and that allowed him to get the win, 4.650 sec., 195.73 mph to 4.136 sec., 249.81 mph.

"You never want to lose, of course, but it does make it a little easier to take when it's to your teammate," Will, a 28-year oldnative of Fortuna, Calif., said. "It was tough out there for both of us, but they were able to get by us. It's a tough break, but my KB Racing, LLC team is resilient. We'll go to Sonoma (Calif.) next weekend and try to pick a win there at my home track."

Will is currently in 7th place in POWERade championship points.

Beginning with the previous event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile, as a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world's quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently. The unprecedented action is in response to the tragic death of Kalitta Motorsports' Scott Kalitta, who died in a high-speed Funny Car qualifying accident in Englishtown, N.J., June 21.

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. She became the first driver of either gender to go over 300 mph at the new 1,000-ft. finish line in Denver with a 302.21-mph mark in qualifying.

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

-credit: km/kbr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Hillary Will