Cool temperatures yield fast times in Round 1 SEATTLE -- Friday afternoon's pleasant weather conditions and thick cloud cover translated into fast times on the track during the opening session of professional qualifying for the 11th Annual ...
Cool temperatures yield fast times in Round 1
SEATTLE -- Friday afternoon's pleasant weather conditions and thick cloud cover translated into fast times on the track during the opening session of professional qualifying for the 11th Annual Prolong Super Lubricants Nationals at Seattle International Raceway. Team Pennzoil took immediate advantage of the favorable conditions by posting some of the most competitive laps of Round 1.
Here's a quick rundown of each driver's opening round race.
Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, ran a clean and quick opening pass of 4.866 seconds at 288.09 mph to temporarily put him in the No. 7 qualifying position.
"She felt a little lazy when I stepped on it which tells me we were under-clutched a little," Hill said. "But we sort of expected that. We had the car set-up very conservatively and I left a little performance on the starting line. I also drifted out of the groove, which wasn't where I wanted to be. And the tires smoked down at the other end of the track. So we have a little work to do before tonight. But, it's going to get real good before the weekend's over."
Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, was one of 12 drivers in his class that covered the quarter-mile in under seven seconds when he carded a 6.985-second lap at 196.72 mph. The time placed Thomas in the No. 9 spot of the qualifying field.
"We made a good run," Thomas said. "And that was on our No. 2 engine. I think we'll be a lot faster tonight when we put our real racing engine back in the car. We just got the No. 1 engine back from our shop (after blowing it in Denver) and it's ready to go. We'll be switching them out between rounds. The conditions are great and I have a feeling that we can go three or four hundredths (of a second) faster tonight. I'm excited."
Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, was pleased with his opening pass of 7.063 seconds at 196.50 mph despite the fact that he has yet to qualify for Sunday's action. Allen finished Round 1 in the 22 position of the 27-car field and has three more chances to improve on his posted time.
"Considering that everything on the car is different from one week ago, this was a pretty good way to start," Allen said. "We were set up way too soft for the conditions and that cost us a little time. We've been doing a lot of testing in Oregon over the last few days and that track was actually a little greasy compared to this one so the set-up we had was off. But we did gain some valuable data, which will help us run faster tonight and tomorrow. The conditions are ideal and I'm anxious to go fast."