Brainerd: Hillary Will preview

Will has had good luck at BIR before this year's event BRAINERD, Minn. (August 8, 2006) -- Although she has yet to race her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel Dragster for the first time at Brainerd International Raceway...

Will has had good luck at BIR before this year's event

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 8, 2006) -- Although she has yet to race her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel Dragster for the first time at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), Hillary Will's last visit there proved lucky for the rookie driver.

"I'm really looking forward to the race this weekend even though I have never been down the track at BIR" said Will, as she looks forward to the start of the silver anniversary edition of the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals. "First of all, I feel more confident driving the dragster than I have all year. Secondly, I have had good luck at BIR. It is the place where I was hired for my dream job. It was at BIR last year where I went to interview with Ken Black and Kalitta Motorsports and then they chose me to be their driver. Hopefully, I can continue my luck here and we will pick up our first win."

Team owner Ken Black looked back at this time one year ago and indicates that he has always felt that Hillary was the right person to build his Top Fuel team around.

"The main thing is that Jim O and I made the right the right choice," said Black. "I've been nothing but impressed with Hillary as an individual and as a spokesperson for KB Racing. She has transformed from a rookie to a veteran Top Fuel driver. She done an excellent job, learned from her mistakes and overcome all the roadblocks that have been thrown in front of her. She just keeps getting better and better.

"KB Racing LLC is in Top Fuel racing for the long haul. It took some time for us to build a sound Pro Stock team with Greg (Anderson) and Jason (Line), but three consecutive championships are the fruits of that program and I know that with Hillary, Jim O and his team that we can produce the same results in the Top Fuel end of things. We are continuing to look for a strong marketing partner, but look for this team to become highly visible down the stretch and to do even better come next season."

Jim Oberhofer (Jim O) was impressed during his interview with Hillary one year ago and one year later is well please with her results.

"What a difference a year makes," said Oberhofer, Will's crew chief. "I think Hillary has made great strides in her first year in Top Fuel. She was then and is now still the best choice for this team. It's not an easy class, she done a great job and her learning curve has continued to accelerate. Being a rookie driver and under the microscope, Hillary has, so to speak, weathered the storm.

"We had a good 'Western Swing' and if a few breaks would have gone our way we would now be much higher in the points. But that's hindsight. Today, we're getting closer and closer to having Hillary's dragster a serious contender each and every week and that is boosting her confidence. Her first win is not that far away."

Will, who is No. 9 in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings, is one of the leading candidates for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award and a win at BIR would not only be her first but would give the driver from Northern California, who now lives in Ypsilanti, Mich. a boost in her quest for the prestigious Rookie of the Year award.

-credit: kb racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will , Ken Black