Pennzoil makes a move as racing resumes TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 3) -- The world's fastest drivers finally had a second chance to show-off their horsepower Saturday morning at the 10th annual Parts America Nationals after a night of rain had forced ...
Pennzoil makes a move as racing resumes
TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 3) -- The world's fastest drivers finally had a second chance to show-off their horsepower Saturday morning at the 10th annual Parts America Nationals after a night of rain had forced the cancellation of Friday's scheduled evening session. Saturday's cool temperatures and dry track at Heartland Park Topeka made the waiting worthwhile as elapsed times dropped and mph marks soared in all of the pro classes.
Team Pennzoil took advantage of the favorable conditions with two of its three cars recording improved times and top speeds. The following information encapsulates Saturday's opening round action.
Bruce Allen, the Pro Stock driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pontiac Firebird, was joined by six other drivers in the sub-seven-second range when he posted a 6.963-second pass at 196.07 mph. Both marks were an improvement over his Round 1 pass of 6.993 seconds at 195.48 mph. Allen is currently in the fourth qualifying position.
"That was another really good run," Allen said. "To be honest, that's probably as good as gets for us. It's a big advantage to have back-to-back solid runs like that because it allows you to work on the little things. We all know the difference between first place and last place isn't much in Pro Stock so when the car is set-up right and you can fine tune the little things then you have an edge over the other guys."
Mike Thomas, the Pro Stock driver of the Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird, vaulted from the bottom of the bracket to the top half of the 16-car field when he recorded a 6.996-second lap at 196.80 mph during Saturday's early session. The time temporarily places Thomas in the No. 7 spot..
"It's a big relief to get that one in the books," Thomas said. "Now we have a session left to tune-up for tomorrow and get ready for the real racing. Believe it or not, we can go a lot quicker. The clutch was real soft just now, which is the same story you'll hear all up and down the pits. Everyone was soft. I predict a lot of movement this afternoon. There could be a real dogfight going on in the last round."
Eddie Hill, the Top Fuel pilot of the Pennzoil Dragster, drastically lifted the front end of his car off the starting line and immediately decelerated to avoid turning over. He eventually drifted through the timing lights in 10.283 seconds at 69.64 mph. His Friday pass of 5.013 seconds at 307.58 mph kept Hill in 11th place in the qualifying field.
"She was really spinning hard and was headed right so I just clicked her off," Hill said. "You can't run with the front end that high. I could tell that it wasn't going to get any better and I knew I couldn't save it. That's the most shake I've experienced in a long, long time. Both runs have been that way.
"I'm glad I pedaled through it yesterday to at least keep us in the field. Our first order of business is always making it into the show and Friday's run will probably keep us in. I would dearly love to complete a run and move up to the top half of the field. We need the data and we would like lane choice tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll be dialed in this afternoon."