St. Louis: Hillary Will preview

Hillary Will inches closer to elite eight MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2007) -- Last weekend Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the quarterfinal round of...

Hillary Will inches closer to elite eight

MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2007) -- Last weekend Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. The results were that she inched closer to the coveted top eight in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standing, moving from 13th to 11th.

This weekend Will and her crew, led by crew chief, Jim Oberhofer, hope to continue the climb to the elite eight in the first segment of the Countdown to the Championship at the NHRA O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, in Madison, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from the world famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

"This weekend in St. Louis, our KB Racing Top Fuel team will enter our 30th NHRA event. At the last race we improved from 13th to 11th in the POWERade point battle. We are sneaking up on the field and I am confident we will be in the top eight before long. Our goal is to leave Gateway International Raceway with a win and a place in the top eight," said Will, as she set her sights on her first NHRA Wally, the trophy emblematic of winning a NHRA national event.

Her crew chief added the following thoughts regarding this weekend's event: "I think that moving the event to earlier in the year will be a huge benefit," said Jim O. "In the past, the heat of late June usually threw everybody a curve and running eliminations in first the day and then the night compounded the problems that both crew chiefs and drivers faced. If the weather stays dry and is in the 70 to 80 degree range then it should be a decent race track. As it usually is, the Friday night session will be very important for positioning. It seems here lately if you don't go down the track on Friday night you're in trouble. Overall things will be more predictable for our set up, especially running eliminations in the daylight like we normally do."

The O'Reilly Midwest Nationals is the seventh of 17 events in the first of three segments that will constitute this year's Countdown to the Championship. After the 17 regular season races, all teams will continue vying for points, with full field, but only the top eight drivers continue to vie for the championship in the four-race second segment. The top four drivers after the four-race playoff then move to third and final segment that will be run over the final two races -- the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals in Las Vegas and the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona. One of the four will be crowned the 2007 champion.

QUALIFYING: Qualifying for the nitro fuel cars begins on Friday, May 4, with two sessions at 5 and 7:30 p.m. (Funny Car is up first, followed by Top Fuel in both sessions). Qualifying for nitro fuel cars then concludes on Saturday, May 5, with two sessions at 12:30 and 3 p.m. (Top Fuel starts the sessions, followed by Funny Car). Final eliminations for all teams begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Times are local St. Louis time (CT) and subject to change.

-credit: kbr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will