Team Pennzoil Final Qualifying Report

Pennzoil primed for Sunday title fight DALLAS (Oct. 24) ­The final groupings of professional drivers who will race for the various titles up for grabs at the 13th annual Revell Nationals were determined Saturday evening at the completion of ...

Pennzoil primed for Sunday title fight

DALLAS (Oct. 24) ­The final groupings of professional drivers who will race for the various titles up for grabs at the 13th annual Revell Nationals were determined Saturday evening at the completion of the fourth qualifying session. With several national and track records already set this weekend at the Texas Motorplex, drag racing fans around the world are already anticipating an earth-shattering elimination session on Sunday.

Team Pennzoil's top drivers proved they're a big part of the sport's elite classes as all three sponsored drivers managed to qualify for Sunday's action. Local favorites Eddie Hill of Wichita Falls and Bruce Allen of Arlington are hoping to translate solid qualifying performances into a Victory Circle celebration with their family and friends. Across pit row, Mike Thomas is confident his exceptionally fast car will earn him his second win of the 1998 season.

Here's the latest news from Team Pennzoil heading into Sunday's elimination rounds.

Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster, had three spectacular runs down the smooth quarter-mile strip during qualifying, the best of which was a 4.626-second, 309.06-mph pass he ran on Friday afternoon. The mark places Hill in the No. 8 position and gives him lane choice over Jim Head (4.640 seconds at 314.46 mph) in Sunday's first round. Head has a 4-1 record against Hill in 1998.

"We posted three runs that could win rounds on Sunday," Hill said. "It appears we have the set-ups we'll need tomorrow. We were a little conservative today, which gives us room to step on it a little bit. Jim's gotten the better of us this year but I think it's our turn. He owes me a couple anyway. It's time to even the scoreboard.

"I'd like nothing better than to reward all of my fan's with a win right here in our own backyard. Whenever I do well here the fans go crazy. I thought they were going to pull the seats out of the stands when we ran the first ever four-second pass here. It would be great to bring some excitement like that back to the Motorplex."

Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, qualified for the elimination rounds with a 6.914-second, 199.15-mph pass he recorded in Round 3. Thomas finished in the No. 7 spot and will open Sunday's action against Robert Patrick, who ran a 6.925-second lap at 198.98 mph to qualify in the 10th position. The two men have raced each other one time this year with Thomas taking the win.

"We continued to adjust to the track every time down and I really feel we're very close to where we need to be on the set-up," Thomas said. "I plan on being very aggressive tomorrow. I need to win some rounds and earn some points. We've set a three-race goal of putting the car in the top five of the points standings and we need to win some rounds to do that. Winning this race outright is a real possibility also."

Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, held on to the 16th position after posting a 6.947-second lap at 197.62 mph on Saturday morning. Allen's first round opponent will be Warren Johnson, who claimed the No. 1 spot in the field with a national record pass of 6.867 seconds at 201.34 mph. Allen won the only meeting between the two drivers this season.

"The facts are obvious," Allen said. "I'd rather be racing someone else. I'd rather have lane choice. And I would have like to have had better success during qualifying. But we still qualified and that's the first step you take towards winning a race. We've been slowly improving each run and I think we'll be able to run fast tomorrow. We'll have to be perfect to beat Warren but anything is possible. To be the best, you have to beat the best and right now the best driver in our class is WJ. It will be a real test for us."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Mike Thomas , Robert Patrick , Warren Johnson , Bruce Allen