Hillary Will, Jim |O|, Crew, and Teammates Make a Team

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As she rapidly approaches the mid-point of her rookie season, Hillary Will, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster, now turns her attention to the NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals which unfolds this weekend, Thurs. through Sun. (June 8-11) at Route 66 Raceway, on the grounds of Chicagoland Speedway, in Joliet, Ill.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals is the first of three back-to-back-to-back races in the month of June. With the heat of summer upon us, it will be a test of driver and machine. Will, who will be experiencing her first full summer season of driving professionally, knows that she can count on her crew chief, Jim Oberhofer (known to the racing community as Jim "O"), her crew, and teammates (KB Racing: Greg Anderson and Jason Line/Kalitta Motorsports: David Grubnic, Doug Kalitta, and Scott Kalitta) to provide the leadership during this hot, exhausting period.

"I'm extremely thankful for the support I receive from my teammates," said Will. "I know that I have a lot to learn so I try to listen and learn as much as possible.

"My crew chief, Jim O, understands that I am learning and trying the best I can. He is very encouraging, and I appreciate how he always maintains a positive attitude. I have come to realize that he is building our team with one eye on the very next race and one eye on the future."

"Hillary is a team player," Jim O is quick to add. "She doesn't have an ego that has her thinking that she's better than anybody out there. She knows that she has a lot to learn. That's the best part about her.

"We work together as a team - driver, crew chief, crew and teammates. It's what makes us a success. It's like that old saying: there is no 'I' in TEAM."

As she enters this weekend's NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals, Will, from Fortuna, Calif., who now lives near the Kalitta Motorsports shop in Ypsilanti, Mich., is No. 11 in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings with 361 points. The 26-year-old driver is just 38 point, less than two round wins, out of the top ten.

With only 27 points separating the top five, Will's KB Racing-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed team, led by crew chief Jim Oberhofer, leads the tight point standings by 11 points in the season-long battle for the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship - a program, based on a point system, that offers prize money to the crews in four professional categories in excess of $250,000 throughout the 2006 season. In Top Fuel, the top point earning crew of each event earns $3,000, while $25,000 goes to the highest point earning team for the entire 23-race season.

For a mid-season review on the progress of Hillary Will, read Jim Oberhofer's Q&A as he covers the period from when Will was named driver through the NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals this weekend. The Q&A will be released soon.

Qualifying for Will and her KB Racing LLC dragster begins with two nitro fuel sessions on Friday, June 9, scheduled for 4 and 8 p.m. and concludes with two additional nitro fuel sessions on Saturday, June 10, at 12 and 3 p.m. Will begins her quest for the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals Top Fuel title on Sunday, June 11, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Chicago time (CT) and subject to change at anytime.

Qualifying highlights for NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday (June 10) from 4-6 p.m. ESPN2 will also air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 4-6 p.m. (Sunday, June 11). The elimination show repeats early Wednesday morning (June 14) from 2-4 a.m. Also, tune in to NHRA2Day on ESPN2, the weekly show that gives you the latest information about the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. NHRA2Day can be seen on Sunday morning, June 11, from 10:30 - 11 a.m. All times are local Chicago time (CT) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

*NOTE: For more NHRA news and current NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series driver standings, be sure to check out www.nhra.com .

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