Seattle Team Pennzoil report

Pennzoil drivers take advantage of fast track SEATTLE -- The engines of the fastest cars in the world are happiest when they're gulping oxygen, especially when it's cool and plentiful. The conditions at the quarter-mile strip of Seattle ...

Pennzoil drivers take advantage of fast track

SEATTLE -- The engines of the fastest cars in the world are happiest when they're gulping oxygen, especially when it's cool and plentiful. The conditions at the quarter-mile strip of Seattle International Raceway during Saturday's noontime session -- 73 degrees at an adjusted altitude of 1,100 feet -- made most of the cars on the visiting National Hot Rod Association circuit very happy and, consequentially, very fast.

Pennzoil's pair of Pro Stock drivers took full advantage of the ideal setting to position themselves for Sunday's elimination races. Meanwhile, legendary Top Fuel pilot Eddie Hill let the quick round get away when his engine's blower detonated at half-track.

Here's a quick look at all of the action in the Pennzoil pits.

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, continued to flex his horsepower by posting a lightening-fast 6.929 second pass at 198.36 mph. The run kept Thomas near the front of the extraordinarily quick Pro Stock field in the No. 5 position.

"It felt like I was riding a rocket when I came off the line," Thomas said. "I mean it absolutely launched off the starting line. If we had been in the other (left) lane than I think we'd have run in the 6.8-second range. I was mashing the pedal so hard that it's stuck. I had to turn the engine off to slow down. We also had a little engine fire but we'll be ready to tear it up again this afternoon. This track is getting faster and faster. It's awesome."

Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac, streaked from out-of-contention status to the top half of the bracket when he ran a 6.950-second lap at 197.32 mph. Allen is currently in the eighth spot with one round of qualifying left to run.

"We had to get that one in," Allen said. "It's extremely fast out there. If it stays like this then we might go even faster in Round 4. I'm very happy that we were able to put together a solid run. Now we can work on some other things to try and go a little bit quicker. I'll tell you what, if the track were a little bit smoother, records would be falling."

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, suffered from a dramatic engine explosion at mid-track which prematurely ended his third-round pass. Hill's best time of the weekend is a 4.866-second, 288.09-mph Round 1 lap, which left him in the No. 13 spot.

"There was some problem in No. 7 (piston) which ultimately resulted in the blower getting blown completely off the engine," Hill said. "That was loud and I could feel it all the way through my body. I got soaked (in fuel) and had to get out of the car as fast as I could.. This is the most engine damage we've suffered all season. We just lost a lot of very expensive parts. Obviously, there's a lot of work to do before Round 4. We'd really like to improve our standing and get a good, clean run in on the new engine we're putting in there."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Bruce Allen