POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) â€“ Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill swept aside two-time Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi en route to a semifinal win in the Big Bud Shootout Saturday at Pomona Raceway. Hill advances to the eventâ€™s final for an early ...
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) – Pennzoil Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill swept aside two-time Top Fuel champion Gary Scelzi en route to a semifinal win in the Big Bud Shootout Saturday at Pomona Raceway. Hill advances to the event’s final for an early evening showdown with Doug Kalitta, who beat Cory McClenathan in the second round.
Hill and Scelzi both blasted off the starting line with tremendous speed but the newly re-crowned champ went up in smoke at the 60-foot mark and helplessly watched Hill post a 4.636 at 313.69 mph on the scoreboard. Scelzi eventually coasted through the lights in 8.820 seconds at 92.29 mph.
“I might get a pony ride,” Hill said, alluding to the Clydesdale horse carriage ride the winner of the Bid Bud Shootout receives. “If I do, I’m certain that I’m gonna wear my grinner out. I just can’t stop smiling. The car was very strong once again. It felt as though Gary and I left together and all of a sudden he disappeared so I figured he smoked ’em.
“Obviously, beating the baddest car on the circuit with this much at stake is a huge moment for us. He doesn’t have that No. 1 on his car by mistake. He is the best this sport has to offer and it feels absolutely wonderful to get past him.”
Kalitta’s pass of 4.576 seconds at 320.85 mph awards him lane choice over Hill. The two men have raced each other once this year with Kalitta taking the win.
“It would be nice to have lane choice again, but it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal,” Hill said. “The track is in pretty good shape all the way around. I’m tingling right now. I can’t wait. The car feels as though she has a lot left in her. She was still pulling real hard all the way through the lights. It was a nice, straight, clean run.”