Houston Pennzoil Racing Round Three Report

Pennzoil gang fights through Round 3 HOUSTON (April 10) - Another lightening-fast round of professional qualifying kicked off the Saturday portion of the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. While ...

Pennzoil gang fights through Round 3

HOUSTON (April 10) - Another lightening-fast round of professional qualifying kicked off the Saturday portion of the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. While the Pennzoil stable of driver's were unable to capitalize on the quick conditions, they all managed to stay in the hunt for title of the race.

Here's a look at each driver's Round 3 pass.

Eddie Hill, the driver of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, was in the midst of a career-best lap when his car's blower belt let go, slowing the machine to a 4.738-second lap at 241.03 mph.. Hill's first round 4.651-second pass at 316.38 mph remains his best of the weekend and he held onto the No. 12 spot in the field.

"Wow, one really slipped away from us there," Hill said. "We were running 270 mph at half track, which is seven mph's faster than we've ever been before, and we lost the blower belt. At the very least, that was a career-best run. It might have been a record run. At least we know we've got a car that's anxious to go as fast as possible."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, ran his best speed of the weekend during Round 3 when he hit 198.85 mph during a 7.002-second pass. Still, his earlier lap of 6.965 seconds at 198.26 mph will remain as his best official mark of the race and will keep him in the No. 11 position on the qualifying ladder.

"The track really got loose as that session progressed and we ended up over-powering it big-time," Thomas said. "It felt like we spun the tires in every gear and that really slowed us down. Being at the back of the group hurt because the track kept getting hotter and hotter and we were set up for cooler conditions. We'll have to get after it tonight."

Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, managed to improve on his previously posted time for the third straight session when he ran a 6.987-second lap at 197.62 mph in Round 3. Unfortunately, the mark was not quick enough to keep Allen in the field as he slipped to 19th place in the standings.

"We're making good runs it just appears we don't have the power to keep the car out front," Allen said. "That's the next step for us to concentrate on. The new car looks to be running extremely well, we just need to find more horsepower. It's disappointing for this weekend but we're certainly not done trying."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen