Seattle Eddie Hill qualifying report

Hill jets up qualifying ladder KENT, Wash. (July 31) -- Chamber of Commerce weather greeted the world's fastest drivers and their adoring fans during Saturday's first round of professional qualifying at the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest ...

Hill jets up qualifying ladder

KENT, Wash. (July 31) -- Chamber of Commerce weather greeted the world's fastest drivers and their adoring fans during Saturday's first round of professional qualifying at the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals. Led by Top Fuel legend Eddie Hill, the pros of Team Pennzoil took advantage of the conditions with all three men posting improved times nd aspeeds.

Here's the latest news from Pennzoil's pit row.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, shot from the bottom of the pack into the fourth position after a crowd-pleasing 4.662-second lap at 307.86 mph in Saturday's opening session. Hill's pass quickly made up for yesterday's disastrous start that saw one lap aborted after the burnout and the other lost to tire spin.

"That felt absolutely wonderful all the way down the track," Hill said. "We didn't tune her for the hero run of all time because, after yesterday's performances, we wanted to make absolutely certain that we at least posted a competitive number to get the car safely into the field. When you consider that, I'm really pleased with the outcome. Now, if the track stays like it is, we might really be able to go for it tonight. I'm having some fun now."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, successfully knocked two-hundredths of a second off his previous best elapsed time when he powered through a 6.949-second lap at 198.41 mph in Round 3. The improved time and speed helped place the Knoxville, Tenn. resident into the No. 11 position on the qualifying ladder.

"The Pennzoil car really responded to our tune-up that time," Thomas said. "If we hadn't bogged slightly at the launch we really would have been flying. I'll tell you, if we can get enough cloud cover tonight that the track surface cools a little, I guarantee that we'll be the No. 1 qualifier. That's how confident I am in this Pennzoil car."

Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, shaved a fraction of a second of his best time while slightly adding to his top speed in the third session. His current mark of 6.955 seconds at 198.00 mph earned him the 12th spot in the field.

"We're starting to show a lot of consistency which is always a good thing," Allen said. "Once again that lap I was a little surprised that we weren't quicker. We had the best 60-foot and 330-foot elapsed times of all the cars in that session and ended up being the sixth fastest. If I hadn't encountered some slight tire spin in the middle of the track that time, we would have really laid down a nice number. I'm very, very happy with this Outlaw machine right now."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen