Malfunction ends Hill's weekend POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6) -- In a weekend that had been brimming with promise, Pennzoil driver Eddie Hill exited the chase for the championship of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway when he...
Malfunction ends Hill's weekend
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6) -- In a weekend that had been brimming with promise, Pennzoil driver Eddie Hill exited the chase for the championship of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway when he was forced to forfeit his quarterfinal race against Kenny Bernstein.
Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, suffered a malfunction during his pre-race burnout and could not get his car to shift into reverse. After a frantic attempt by his crew to fix the problem and get the car back to the starting line, NHRA Chief Starter Rick Stewart deemed that too much time had expired and awarded the win to Bernstein. Stewart then ordered Hill to drive forward and clear the track and Bernstein was allowed a single pass, which he completed in 4.608 seconds at 316.60 mph.
"If I wasn't a grown man I would cry," the 62-year-old Hill said as he climbed out of the car. "And I may go ahead and cry anyway. I don't know why this happened. The car is shifting fine now. It feels terrible to lose like this after we had been running so well. It just wasn't our time. I apologize to Kenny.
"Maybe there was some divine intervention involved. We've had strange malfunctions like this in the past and when we got back to the shop and tore the car down to individual pieces we've found something wrong that could have been disastrous. Maybe that's the case here.
"The good news is that the Pennzoil/Matco Dragster is faster and quicker than it's ever been and we can't wait to get to Phoenix and get after it again. My hat's off to my crew and to the great fans that continue to lift us. We'll keep on trying our hardest."