Topeka: Hillary Will preview

Hillary Will continues to battle for spot in elite eight TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2007) -- After a lengthy period of time off from national event competition, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend, June...

Hillary Will continues to battle for spot in elite eight

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2007) -- After a lengthy period of time off from national event competition, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend, June 1-3, at Heartland Park Topeka (HPT) for the 19th running of the NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals.

"It has been an unusual couple of weeks for me because we have had three weekends in a row without a race," said Will. "That is unheard of in NHRA POWERade drag racing. I have to admit that I actually spent time at the shop just sitting in my dragster. I really can't wait to get to Heartland Park Topeka so I can take my car down the race track and get some round wins this weekend.

"I managed to stay pretty busy with our unplanned off-time. I went to the NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. I had a great time but it made me miss drag racing. I was reminded how fan-friendly NHRA drag racing is and it made me appreciate being able to interact with the great fans of our sport.

"Being a spectator also reminded me how fortunate I am to be able to drive, compete, and win in a race car. That's exactly what I plan on doing this weekend. Our team is ready and I look forward to a great weekend of racing in Topeka."

At HPT, Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, will continue her quest for a position in the elite eight in the first of three segments that will constitute this year's Countdown to the Championship.

In its simplest form, the Countdown breaks the $50 million, 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season up into three distinct segments: the 17-race Countdown to 8, the four-race Countdown to 4 and the two-race Countdown to 1. The O'Reilly Midwest Nationals is the eighth of 17 events in the first segment.

After the 17 regular season races, all teams will continue vying for points, with full fields, 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 the 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. While all teams will continue vying for points, with full fields, only one of the four can be crowned the 2007 champion.

As the NHRA tour moves to Topeka, the O'Reilly Summer Nationals marks the approximate midpoint in the first segment of this year's Countdown with Hot Rod Fuller leading the Top Fuel POWERade point standings. But Will, who enters the event in the No. 11 position, isn't thinking about the top spot right now. Her sights are on the No. 8 position, currently held by her Kalitta Motorsports teammate Dave Grubnic.

There are still plenty of races left in the first segment for Will to make up the 84 point difference between her and the eighth position, but the second year Top Fuel driver and her KB Racing team want to erase as much of the deficit as possible at HPT. Will is fully aware that she must first make the top eight in the first segment before she can set her sights on the 2007 NHRA POWERade Championship.

-credit: kbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rod Fuller , Hillary Will