For more information on Pennzoil Racing, contact Rob Geiger at (888) KAR-STUF. Pennzoil's Hill on top after Round 1 POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5) -- It took a day longer than expected, but the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway...
For more information on Pennzoil Racing, contact Rob Geiger at (888) KAR-STUF.
Pennzoil's Hill on top after Round 1
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 5) -- It took a day longer than expected, but the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway finally kicked off Friday in between the rain showers that have plagued the area for last few days. It was a steady, albeit slower, beginning than expected for most drivers. But Team Pennzoil managed to make the most noise when veteran Eddie Hill delighted the fans with the fourth quickest quarter-mile lap in the history of the sport.
Here's a quick look at each Pennzoil driver's opening round.
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, recorded a pair of career-bests when he blasted down the strip in 4.535 seconds at 313.80 mph. The incredible time put Hill on top of the qualifying ladder through one round of qualifying.
"What a fantastic start for our team," Hill said. "That just felt absolutely wonderful. I'm really pleased for the crew because this new group has really worked hard and worked together to make this car go fast. This run is a tribute to them. I'm also thankful to Pennzoil for sticking with me for another year. I want to reward everyone for their support and this is a good start."
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, posted a 7.022-second lap at 196.22 mph during his first trip down the quarter-mile strip. The time temporarily places Allen in the No. 11 spot of the 30-car field.
"We came here with a different plan this year," Allen said. "We wanted to be conservative so that we could get some information, prepare for each round with more data and go from there. That time we were light on the clutch and the tires spun and shook a little in third gear but we're about where we expected to be. We probably should have gone a little faster but the weather definitely has affected the track a little bit."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, was forced to abort his opening lap after 200 feet when his car got out of the groove and began to head towards the retaining wall. Thomas shut his engine off and eventually coasted through the lights in 8.524 seconds at 115.06 mph, finishing the session in 25th place.
"I'm not sure that the track wasn't wet out there," Thomas said. "They (NHRA Safety Crew) deemed it okay to run on and people behind me ran some 6.9's so I guess it was okay. It's just that the way my car reacted it seemed like I hit a wet spot. Either way, the clutch seemed a little off. It's just hard to tell because we didn't get much info out of that run."