CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Will approaches first professional race with confidence
Pomona, prerace: In August of 2005, Hillary Will was hired by
“Hillary has done a good job throughout preseason testing,” said Jim O. “Her procedures, everything that she does, she does the same each time which is what we have emphasized.” He went on to say, “the one thing that stands out about Hillary is her desire to be the best. She knows she has a lot to learn but as far as driving a race car she does excellent. She is starting to get a very good feel for the car and what it’s doing. She's going to be a very good driver; she just needs time. We’ve got to be patient with her. On her side, her strongest asset is that she's a quick learner.”
When qualifying starts on Thursday, Will feels she is ready. “As a result of all the testing that I’ve experienced both last year and the past three weeks, I feel like I have more confidence in the car,” said Will, who was runner-up in Top Alcohol Dragster at this event last year, running 270.27 mph, the top speed of the race in that class.
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for
“During testing I’ve had a lot of different types of runs. Every time we go up there different things occur. We’ve had tire shake. We’ve had tire smoke. We had two 4.48 (second) runs at 327 (mph) this past weekend in Vegas. I’ve had runs where it gotten a little out of shape on the top end. Every single one of those runs has helped me gain experience. We even had one time in Phoenix where the tree didn’t come down That’s all stuff that helps me because sometimes you can’t plan for things driving a (Top Fuel) dragster. You have to be ready for anything and these three test sessions have helped me prepare for the unexpected.”
In her recent blog on NHRA.com, Will compared her testing to her diving career at
Will is quick to credit her crew for not only preparing her car but preparing her for the start of the 2006 season. The crew for the KB Racing LLC race team is led by crew chief Jim O. The crew members consist of Kent Carley, Jason Davis, assistant crew chief Troy Fasching, Scott Finnis, Chris Glass, Chris Rose and Mac Savage.
“I had no idea how much work these crews do,” added Will. “I don’t even know if the long hours my guys put in are typical for a normal team but I do know that the guys here (on this team) are relentless. They even worked on Super Bowl Sunday. Because of testing, I’m more comfortable in the car and comfortable with my team. I appreciate their effort and I want to do well for them.”
Will is aware that a lot of eyes will be upon her come this weekend. “I think that
“I know there are a lot of fans that are excited to see a new team out here. I’ve been a fan for a long time and if I was still on that side of the fence, I know would be paying a lot of attention to the new KB Racing driver and team. “No matter who's watching I’ve got to do my job, so I can’t let the pressure get to me. Actually, now that we’ve tested I feel less pressure. I feel a sense of confidence going into this race. I’m going to do my best, that’s all I can do.”
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