Phoenix: Hillary Will preview

Hillary Will ready for Phoenix CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 20, 2006) -- Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta-managed Top Fuel dragster, can now put her initial race as a Top Fuel driver behind her...

Hillary Will ready for Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 20, 2006) -- Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta-managed Top Fuel dragster, can now put her initial race as a Top Fuel driver behind her and concentrate solely on the 22nd running of the NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals this weekend.

As she prepares for the CSK Nationals, will the pressure for this outing be any different than that of Will's professional debut at the Winternationals held two weekends ago in Pomona, Calif.?

"I wouldn't say there was more pressure at my first race in Pomona than there will be in Phoenix," reflected Will, as she mentally began preparing for the upcoming event. "I think the first race jitters are out of the way but any pressure I now feel is self-imposed. I want to do well every single time I go up to the starting line. I try to treat every race and every run the same."

Although Will lost in the opening round when her 8000-horsepower dragster lost traction and broke a blower belt at her first race, by all accounts, her debut can be considered a success with three 4.51-second passes during qualifying, a No. 4 qualifying position and a Full Throttle NHRA Pit Crew Championship bonus award for the crew.

While her first outing in a Top Fuel dragster ended too soon, Will knows that her crew from Kalitta Motorsports, led by crew chief Jim Oberhofer, will have the car prepared and ready when they take to the quarter-mile track at Firebird International Raceway (FIR) in Chandler, Ariz., just outside Phoenix, for the qualifying sessions on Friday.

"We were pleased with our qualifying efforts in Pomona. We were quick and we were consistent. Now we need to translate that into some rounds wins and I'm confident our team can do that in Phoenix," said Will.

The Northern California native, who now lives near the Kalitta Motorsports shop in Ypsilanti, Mich., has made one previous trip to FIR this year. At a recent test session in late January, Will tripped the finish line timing clocks at FIR in 4.568 seconds at 306.33 mph.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Will joins other drivers at the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals FanFest presented by NHRA, Checker Schuck's Kragen, Firebird Int'l Raceway, Worsham & Fink Racing, and POWERade/Coca-Cola. The FanFest will take place from 5-8 p.m. in the Arizona Mills Mall parking lot.

The spectacular event will feature stars of the NHRA, display vehicles, the POWERade Funny Car simulators, a drivers' autograph session and more. In addition to Will, among those drivers scheduled to attend are: Tony Bartone, Phil Burkart Jr., Ron Capps, Erica Enders, John Force, "Hot" Rod Fuller, Dave Grubnic, Morgan Lucas, Cory McClenathan, Eric Medlen, Frank Pedregon, Tony Schumacher and Del Worsham.

Qualifying for Will and her KB Racing Top Fuel dragster begins with two sessions on Friday scheduled for 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and concludes with two additional sessions on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Will begins her quest for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals Top Fuel title on Sunday with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Phoenix time (MST) and subject to change at anytime.

-kbr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Phil Burkart , Morgan Lucas , Jim Oberhofer , Eric Medlen , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will