Englishtown Team Pennzoil Dominator Duel Round 1 Report

Thomas out-dueled in Round 1 Allen and Hill post their best runs of the weekend ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 22) -- The first round of the Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel highlighted Saturday's opening session of professional qualifying at Old...

Thomas out-dueled in Round 1 Allen and Hill post their best runs of the weekend

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 22) -- The first round of the Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel highlighted Saturday's opening session of professional qualifying at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. While the majority of teams continued to fight for position in the 30th Annual Mopar Parts Nationals, the eight best Pro Stock qualifiers from the last 21 races began their battle for a $50,000 top prize in this once-a-year special event.

As usual, Team Pennzoil had top-notch representation in both the Dominator Duel and the accompanying qualifying session. Mike Thomas earned his second straight berth in the Duel and had a respectable showing in the opening round, finishing just inches short of his rival Richie Stevens. Meanwhile, Pro Stock driver Bruce Allen and Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill both recorded their best runs of the weekend.

Here's a synopsis of each driver's Saturday morning's action.

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, lost in the first round of the Dominator Duel to Richie Stevens. Thomas posted a 7.021-second lap at 198.03 mph to Stevens' 6.952-second blast at 198.70 mph. The pass also counted as a qualifying run for the weekend's regular event but Thomas will continue to use his Friday night

Round 2 pass of 6.934 seconds at 198.88 mph to remain in ninth place.

"The car was extremely loose at the starting line and we just flat-out lost the race right there," Thomas said. "It's a bummer to work so hard at qualifying for this thing and then when it gets here you turn right around and lose in the first round. I can guarantee you that we will be involved in many more of these over the years. Our time will come. Today just wasn't our day but maybe tomorrow will be."

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Dragster, shaved one-thousandths of a second off of his best elapsed time of the event when he ran a 4.594-second lap at 304.94 mph in Round 3. The ageless wonder stayed in the top half of the field in the No. 6 position.

"Wow, it sure feels great to run another 4.5-second lap," Hill said. "Especially under Race Day conditions. Every lap here has been strong and we continue to gain confidence in what we're doing. The data shows that we actually could have gone a little bit quicker that time but we're trying out some different combos and we didn't want to do too much and waste the run. Everything is happy with the Pennzoil car right now."

Bruce Allen, the pilot of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, shot up the standings in Round 3 thanks to a 6.960-second lap at 198.90 mph. It was Allen's first full pass under power this weekend and puts the two-time Mopar Parts National champ into the 12th qualifying position.

"It took us running as poorly as we did yesterday to be able to make the drastic changes we made this morning that ultimately allowed us to have such a turnaround," Allen said. "We were so mad at our performance that we literally made every chassis adjustment we could think of from moving weight around to adjusting the height of the engine. Now we feel confident that the changes we made will be very positive in the long run. It took us hitting rock bottom to have the courage to make these changes but now I'm glad we did."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen