Seattle Pennzoil Qualifying Report

Pennzoil trio sets battle plans KENT, Wash. (July 31) - The field of cars that will compete for the title of the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals was officially set Saturday evening at Seattle International Raceway with the fourth ...

Pennzoil trio sets battle plans

KENT, Wash. (July 31) - The field of cars that will compete for the title of the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals was officially set Saturday evening at Seattle International Raceway with the fourth and final round of qualifying. As usual, Team Pennzoil will start Sunday's elimination action with all three of its top drivers battling for the crown of their respective divisions.

Here's a quick look at how each driver fared through four rounds of qualifying.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, was the quickest and fastest driver of the day after recording a 4.662-second lap at 307.86 mph in Round 3. The 63-year-old from Wichita Falls, Texas finished the qualifying sessions in the No. 4 spot and will open Sunday's action against Tim Gibson, who qualified 13th with a 4.815-second, 266.16-mph pass.

"As tricky as this track is, I'm exceptionally pleased that we finished in the top half of the top half of the field," Hill said. "We'll start Sunday with lane choice and a bunch of good info on how to launch properly and get all the way down this track. Being the quickest and fastest car of the day is super cool also. Hopefully we can say that again tomorrow night."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, will enter Sunday's fray out of the No. 11 position. His Saturday morning lap of 6.949 seconds at 198.41 mph was his best of the weekend and sets up a showdown with Mike Trumble Jr., who qualified in the sixth spot after posting a 6.940-second, 198.47-mph pass.

"It's great to be in but I'm concerned about our launches," Thomas said. "The track is so bad at the starting line. Some people, including the guy I'm running in Round 1, have figured out how to launch without spinning. So far, I haven't. I'm not leaving here tonight until I solve the riddle myself because I think it'll be the difference between winning and losing tomorrow."

Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, used his third round pass of 6.955 seconds at 198.00 mph to secure the No. 12 spot on the ladder. Allen will now open Sunday's sudden-death action against John Nobile who finished the qualifying sessions in the fifth position after a lap of 6.930 seconds at 198.23 mph.

"John's missed the last few races so I know he'll be aching to go some rounds tomorrow," Allen said. "The Outlaw car is running well and it's going to have perfect for us to get by that first round. He'll have lane choice on a track that has presented a lot of different problems to all of us. That's a big advantage for him and something we're going to have to overcome."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , John Nobile , Bruce Allen , Tim Gibson , Mike Trumble