Allen heads Pennzoil's opening day effort KENT, Wash. (July 30) -- The oxygen-rich environment of Seattle International Raceway translated to plenty of horsepower on the track as qualifying for the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals began...
Allen heads Pennzoil's opening day effort
KENT, Wash. (July 30) -- The oxygen-rich environment of Seattle International Raceway translated to plenty of horsepower on the track as qualifying for the 12th Annual Prolong Northwest Nationals began Friday afternoon in the shadow of Mt. Rainer. Team Pennzoil drivers Bruce Allen and Mike Thomas had successful opening day performances while their legendary teammate Eddie Hill uncharacteristically failed to get down the strip under power.
The following synopsis explains each Pennzoil driver's opening day laps.
Bruce Allen, the driver of The Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, followed up his Round 1 lap of 6.956 seconds at 197.91 mph with a slightly slower 7.020 second pass at 197.13 mph in Round 2. Allen's earlier mark placed him in 10th place in the field with two rounds of qualifying left to be contested Saturday.
"The track kind of went away from us in the second session," Allen said. "The sun came out and it changed things up a little more than we expected. The car just didn't react the way we wanted it to. I'm pretty pleased overall. We're still in (the qualified field) and the Outlaw car is running well. Plus, I think we'll have two real good shots at improving our position in the field tomorrow. That's all we can ask for at this point."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, could not get his car started before his second round pass and was forced to forfeit the lap altogether. His previous pass of 6.966 seconds at 196.99 mph kept him on the friendly side of the qualifying ladder in the No. 11 position.
"We ran well earlier but I was slightly concerned about our speed," Thomas said. "We had a new engine in there and, after tearing it down, discovered a problem with the valve springs. I decided to change out motors in between sessions and we were rushing to get up to the line in time. On top of that, the battery wasn't charged properly and we just couldn't get the car running in time. It's aggravating to miss a lap. We'll just have to make up for it tomorrow."
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, had a day he'd just as soon forget. The affable Texan suffered through a broken oil filter problem in Round 1 that kept him from running his lap and then overpowered the track just off the starting line in Round 2 to end the day in 18th place with a pedestrian lap of 11.337 seconds at 87.33 mph.
"That's the spiffiest the engine has been at the starting line in several months," Hill said. "Now we just have the happy problem of de-tuning the car a tad to get it down the track. Our 60-foot times have been sluggish and this tells me we might have finally solved that dilemma."