Hill guns down Dunn, aims for Vandy HOUSTON (April 11) -- The biggest upset of Sunday's first round of elimination racing at the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil put a smile on the face of the sponsors when Pennzoil Top ...
Hill guns down Dunn, aims for Vandy
HOUSTON (April 11) -- The biggest upset of Sunday's first round of elimination racing at the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil put a smile on the face of the sponsors when Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill dismissed current Winston points leader Mike Dunn. The exciting side-by-side race was close until mid-track when Dunn's machine began mixing up cylinders and lost power, allowing Hill to speed away with the win.
Hill, a native Texan who lives in Wichita Falls, matched his best run of the weekend in his victory over Dunn, carding a 4.626-second lap at 304.80 mph to Dunn's 5.118-second, 209.46-mph pass. Hill now advances to a quarterfinal race against Bob Vandergriff, who sputtered through a 5.182-second lap at 278.86 mph to win his opening round race.
"It feels absolutely wonderful to beat the best guy on the circuit," Hill said. "Especially here in Pennzoil's backyard with all of our friends from O'Reilly's in attendance. We've had so many great memories racing here in Texas and knocking off the No. 1 guy is another nice one to add to the memory book. This track continues to hold a special place in our hearts.
"Of course, we still have a lot of work left to do today. Vandergriff set a career-best elapsed time this weekend (a 4.527-second lap in qualifying) so we know he's capable of going fast. Fortunately for us, he had some trouble in Round 1 and we get lane choice over him in the quarterfinals. That should help especially if it continues to get hotter as the day goes along."
Later in the session Hill's Pennzoil teammate Mike Thomas, who captains the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, lost the closest race of Round 1 when he posted a 6.959-second lap at 197.74 mph to Mark Pawuk's 6.949-second pass at 197.86 mph. The race was actually lost at the starting line when Pawuk reacted to the green light in 0.487 seconds compared to Thomas' 0.546-second start.