Bristol: Hillary Will preview

*Hillary Will's focus is on winning rounds at Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 25, 2006) -- As she approaches the NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend, Top Fuel driver Hillary Will's rookie season will be 25 percent over. Entering...

*Hillary Will's focus is on winning rounds at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 25, 2006) -- As she approaches the NHRA O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend, Top Fuel driver Hillary Will's rookie season will be 25 percent over. Entering the sixth race of the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Will's learning curve since the season-opening race has dramatically increased.

Will's crew chief Jim Oberhofer gives the Northern California native, who now calls Ypsilanti, Mich., home, high marks for her progress thus far. "She is the most methodical person I know. Hillary's techniques, which were sound when she arrived, have only improved. She warms up the car the same way each time and does her burnout the exact same way every time out. Everything she does in driving the car, it's always the same.

"Because I know what to expect from Hillary, I can tune the car and know exactly what both she and the car will do on any given run. That's a big plus," said Jim O.

At Bristol Dragway, Will is looking to go rounds in her KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed dragster and not counting points. "We are proud to have won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge twice this year. That shows we have a consistent race car. Going into Bristol, we are confident that our consistency will again be prevalent and hopefully translate into some round wins.

"I have to keep my focus on doing a good job of driving regardless of where we stand in the points. I don't pay attention to the points because I have to drive the same whether we are first, or tenth, or last."

For the record, Will stands No. 12 in the current NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings with 206 points. She is just 20 points, one round of racing, behind tenth.

Oberhofer outlines his initial plan for qualifying. "Bristol is a tricky place because you never know what the weather will bring," said Jim O. "If conditions are cool you can run pretty well at Bristol Dragway. Last year it rained and we were only able to make one qualifying pass. With us not setting in the top ten in points, we run like every qualifying session is are only one.

"We have a really good baseline that we can start with and our car, for the most part, has been consistent going down the track. Starting with the first run we'll try to run a solid number that will get us in the field, then stand on it Friday night."

-kbr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Oberhofer , Hillary Will