Hill to carry Pennzoil banner on Race Day POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6) -- Top Fuel legend Eddie Hill will be the only professional driver from Team Pennzoil battling for the title of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals Sunday at Pomona Raceway.
Hill to carry Pennzoil banner on Race Day
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6) -- Top Fuel legend Eddie Hill will be the only professional driver from Team Pennzoil battling for the title of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals Sunday at Pomona Raceway. But what a representative he will be.
The 62-year-old Texan shot down Pomona's historic strip Friday night in 4.535 seconds, a personal-best elapsed time and track record that lasted all of one day until Mike Dunn set a national record of 4.503 seconds during his final qualifying lap. Despite Dunn's heroic pass, Hill has the prestige of recording the fifth quickest time in NHRA history.
Unfortunately, Hill's teammates -- Bruce Allen and Mike Thomas -- failed to qualify for this event and will head to Phoenix early to fine-tune their cars for the next race.
Here's a complete synopsis of each driver's qualifying session.
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, used his 4.535-second, 313.80-mph lap to garner the No. 2 qualifying position. Hill will open Sunday's action against Don Lampus, who finished in the 15th spot with a pass of 4.711 seconds at 309.56 mph.
"So far we're off to a wonderful start to this season," Hill said. "Some success tomorrow would really be nice. It's gratifying to have run such a low time the first time out of the chute. The team has really worked hard and they deserve some of this glory that these wonderful Southern Californian fans have heaped on us.
"I think our loyal supporters are having as much fun with this thing as we are. It's been such a great atmosphere around the pit. Everyone is cheering us on and the crew are really enjoying themselves. This one run certainly doesn't make our season but it's sure a nice way to begin what we all hope is a career year."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, finished qualifying with a lackluster Round 3 lap of 7.084 seconds at 193.79 mph. His best lap of the weekend was the 6.997-second lap at 197.36 mph he posted earlier in the day during the second session. Unfortunately, the elapsed time was not quick enough to qualify Thomas for Sunday's elimination rounds. He finishes the weekend in the 17th place of the 30-car field.
"It's very frustrating to begin the season like this," Thomas said. "We had a problem getting a good read on the track and the fact that our on-board computer was on the blink all weekend didn't help matters any. It's upsetting to have run so well in testing (a 6.845-second pass in Houston) a week ago and then to come here and not even qualify. I guarantee that we will have these problems corrected by the time we get to Phoenix. This car is too fast to not be chasing the trophy every week."
-More- Pennzoil news continued...
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, battled severe tire shake problems throughout the weekend and failed to qualify for the season opener. Allen's quickest run of the event was a 7.021-second lap at 196.24 mph he carded in Round 2.
"This car was totally unpredictable the whole weekend," Allen said. "It's been a problem that has been growing for the last several races. We're anxious to take delivery of a new Don Ness car that we ordered. It should be ready before the next race. I hope when we get the new car that all of these problems will just go away. It's very frustrating to run the way we're running right now. Our preseason testing seemed to indicate that we have good power but we just haven't been able to put it on the track yet. That has to change."