Columbus Team Pennzoil Round 3 Report

Hill makes move in Round 3 COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 12) -- Legendary driver Eddie Hill provided Team Pennzoil's highlight reel material for the third qualifying session of the 35th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway. The...

Hill makes move in Round 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 12) -- Legendary driver Eddie Hill provided Team Pennzoil's highlight reel material for the third qualifying session of the 35th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway. The 63-year-old from Wichita Falls, Texas posted the third quickest elapsed time of the day and made the biggest move in the standings after posting a 4.705-second lap at 303.16 mph in Round 3.

Here's the latest news from Hill's pit as well as the rest of his Pennzoil teammates.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, jumped from 14th to ninth place in the standings in the third round after carding his 4.705-second, 303.16-mph pass.

"I absolutely love it when we run quick on Saturday," Hill said. "Especially in the third session because that's the closest we get to Race Day conditions. It has to put a bug in the other driver's minds because we all get these sheets that show what everyone else has done and they can look across and see that we had a great lap at about the same time when we'll be running on Sunday. And we ran that 4.7 with a cylinder out from just after half-track. I sure like the way this Pennzoil machine is working."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, was positioned near the back of the pack for the third round of qualifying and couldn't overcome the increasing track temperatures enough to post a better time than his 7.041-second lap at 196.07 mph from Friday night. Thomas finished the session in the No. 4 spot on the qualifying ladder.

"The air conditions really went away from us in a hurry," Thomas said. "That slowed us down a little and we were also trying some new carburetors that I don't think responded the way we wanted them to. The good news is that we know what this track will be like tomorrow morning when eliminations start and we know how to be prepared for it."

Bruce Allen, the pilot of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, experienced severe tire shake 30 feet into his Round 3 run and was forced to shut his car off prematurely. Allen's best pass of the weekend - 7.094 seconds at 195.53 mph -- placed him just outside the field in the No. 17 position. He will now have one more chance to qualify his car this afternoon. He must pick up at least 0.002 of a second to earn a spot.

"We totally misjudged the track," Allen said. "I thought it could handle a lot more than it did. I'm just doing a horrible job of adjusting this car from one day to the next. It seems like we're going from one extreme to the other instead of making the subtle changes we're trying to make. There is no excuse for this. We just need to do better. Hopefully, we'll start late this evening and we'll be able to get in the field. We're awfully close."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen