Will out in round two, focus shifts to Las Vegas
Houston, Sunday: After defeating No. 3 qualifier Doug Herbert in the opening round of eliminations, AAA Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future (Rookie of the Year) candidate Hillary Will was turned back by Clay Millican at the 19th annual NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Nationals in the quarter- finals.
The KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed dragster tried to go into tire smoke (lose traction) as Will left the starting line against Millican in round two. Crew chief Jim Oberhofer (Jim O.) explained what happen on the run.
“It pulled the tires,” said Jim O. “Hillary felt the tires start to break loose and pedaled (got off and on the throttle) the car. She did a good job trying to salvage the run. For whatever reason the tune up picked that run to be aggressive. We haven’t had that problem since Phoenix. We’ll spend some time reviewing what happened and then focus on Vegas.”
In the first round Will took the measure of Doug Herbert, who smoked the tires during their match up. On that pass Will recorded her best pass of the weekend, covering the quarter-mile in 4.599 seconds. The problems in round two prevented Will from reaching the first semifinal of her professional career.
“The tires shook a short time after leaving the starting line,” recalled Will after the run. “It was unexpected since we had made five runs consecutive run this weekend without experiencing any tire problems. We were surprised it shook the tires. It was an up and down weekend for the team but this one is behind us and all our concentration is now on Las Vegas.”
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