Team Pennzoil Friday Qualifying Report

Hill takes first step of career trifecta HOUSTON (Oct. 30) -- Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill opened the Second Annual Matco Tools SuperNationals in grand style Friday afternoon by recording the top speed of his illustrious 44-year career.

Hill takes first step of career trifecta

HOUSTON (Oct. 30) -- Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill opened the Second Annual Matco Tools SuperNationals in grand style Friday afternoon by recording the top speed of his illustrious 44-year career. Hill's 313.15-mph, 4.648-second lap thrilled his adoring home state fans and placed him near the top of the Top Fuel bracket. The mark completed the first step of Hill's three-prong wish list for Houston Raceway Park. A career-best elapsed time and an outright event win are the next on his agenda.

Hill's Pennzoil stable mates also had a productive opening pass as they spent the round gathering information for tonight's expected record-breaking Pro Stock session. Here's a quick look at each of the Pennzoil driver's first round lap.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, hopes his 4.648-second, 313.15-mph lap is the first of many bright spots on the weekend. The 62-year-old driver ultimately hopes to reset his own record as the oldest person to win a National Hot Rod Association event. Hill's last win came at the Mile-High Nationals in July of 1996.

"We're on track so far," a beaming Hill said. "If we continue on and set a new elapsed time mark and win this event then this would probably rank as one of my best weekend's ever. It's been a long dry spell without a win and there are plenty of people who think I'm to old to be driving. I'd love to put an end to all of that talk.

"Considering the conditions, the car was perfect during that run. I'm also very pleased that we have continued a nice streak of 4.6-second laps that started last week in Dallas. She felt very, very smooth throughout the entire run. I'd like to do that over and over again."

Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, opened with a 7.034-second lap at 195.86 mph. The pass temporarily places Allen in the 19th spot of the 30-car field.

"The car launched real well but we went to the right and got a little loose," Allen said. "I was spinning all the way through third, fourth and fifth gear. That definitely killed my ET (elapsed time.) Still, we managed to get the clutch info we needed, which will be crucial tonight. The field in Houston is usually set on Friday night."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, recorded the third fastest run of the session when he reached 198.10 mph during his 7.025-second pass. Thomas is currently in 14th position with three rounds of qualifying remaining.

"Posting an early speed like that is encouraging," Thomas said. "What's more encouraging is the fact that we have the elapsed time to go with it. We just didn't run the first half of the track they way I wanted to. Overall, the track's in great shape and tonight will be awesome. Tonight's session is all-important. If you don't qualify this evening, you're outta here."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen