Hillary says she is "done" with professional drag racing and that maybe in 10 or 15 years, she'll think about it.

Direct access to this web page: http://bit.ly/cDUvWE

See also the January, 2006 issue of Car and Driver , page 122
'Girl power' fuels NHRA - 6/23/06
Diversity in drag racing
Dote Racing replaces Hillary Will for remainder of 2012 season
Larry Dixon Replaces Hillary Will Who Says She’s “Done” with Racing – Fan’s Reaction
Related Issue:
Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
Contact www.HillaryWillRace.com (not found) or eMail (not found) or eMail (not found)

DOB: April 1, 1980
Marital Status: Single
Height/weight: 5´4´´, 110 lbs.
Hobbies: Running and kickboxing.
Occupation: Racecar Driver
Former Gymnast and Collegiate Springboard Diver.
Hometown: Fortuna, CA
Career Best ET: 3.799
Career Best Speed: 328.78
Running and kickboxing
Notable: Raced to first national event victory at Las Vegas 1 in 2005 in Top Alcohol Dragster; Was runner-up at two other national events in TAD, including the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; Earned Top Fuel license in August 2005 with time of 4.67 seconds at 321 mph; 2004 graduate of Frank Hawley NHRA Drag Racing School; Former gymnast and collegiate springboard diver; Graduated from Wheaton (Mass.) College in 2002 (Magna Cum Laude) with a degree in Economics


Hillary Will finished the 2008 campaign in 4th with 2,405 points. She finished13th in 2007 with 703 points and 10th in 2006 with 1035 points.

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NHRA Top Fuel star Hillary Will claimed the inaugural Scott Kalitta Memorial Trophy by winning the Shannons U.S.A. v. Australia Top Fuel Showdown at Western Sydney Int’l Dragway in Sydney, Australia, Sunday. Her team, led by crew chief Jim Oberhofer, posted the quickest lap of the event in the final round to defeat Aussie Terry Sainty, 4.743 to 5.284.

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Hillary Will finished the 2007 campaign in 13th with 703 points. She finished 10th in 2006 with 1035 points

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Hillary Will joins Melanie Troxel in the NHRA Top Fuel drag category. She qualified 5th both at her first Top Fuel race in Pomona, CA and at the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas on April 7, 2006. She will be back in action next week in Bristol, TN. Will was runner-up to Kalitta teammate at Memphis


Larry Dixon Replaces Hillary Will Who Says She’s “Done” with Racing – Fan’s Reaction

Hillary Will, the only female Top Fuel driver currently in NHRA Full Throttle drag racing, is being replaced in the Dote Racing dragster with veteran Larry Dixon. Dixon will drive in the three remaining slated races that the Dotes are preparing to enter this year - which are Charlotte, St. Louis and Reading

32 year old Hillary Will has been piloting Top Fuelers on-and-off since 2006 (first driving for Ken Black & Kalitta Motorsports) - the Californian's career best was fourth-place in the point standings for the 2008 season. It should be noted that although she hasn't won an event in NHRA Top Fuel, Will has won events in Top Alcohol as well as Top Fuel in IHRA. She's considered the fastest woman in the world when she went 335 mph during the 2008 season. Will is the fiance of three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Hines.

Will qualified the Dote Top Fueler for all seven meets they've attended and won three rounds which has helped put her 14th in the point standings. With Dixon taking over the ride, he becomes the fourth driver in the Dote's Top Fueler in just the last two years of part-time racing.

Hillary "done" with "cutthroat" sport

Being replaced by the former champion shocked her, but that didn't seem to bother Will too much saying of Dixon: "I have to say, I am a fan of Larry and always have been." But she does appear bothered by the sport and will be taking some indefinite time off from drag racing ... maybe permanently.

In fact, she stated last night to John Kernan of Rpm2Night that she was "done" with professional drag racing and that maybe in 10 or 15 years, she'll think about it; but, because in part the sport is so "cutthroat", she will pursue a job relating to her economics degree.
Source - Racer sports.yahoo.com/news/larry-dixon-replaces-hillary-says-she-done-racing-012300718--irl.html

Dote Racing replaces Hillary Will for remainder of 2012 season

Hillary Will, driver of the Dote Racing NHRA top fuel dragster received surprising and unwelcomed news after her first round exit from the rain-delayed US Nationals.

Her Dote Racing owners announced suddenly that 3-time world champion Larry Dixon will take over driver duties in the family’s top fuel dragster at three of the remaining NHRA Full Throttle events this season, effective immediately with his first scheduled appearance at the upcoming 5th Annual O’Reilly Auto Part NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, NC’s zMAX Dragway.

The decision came as a complete surprise to Will, who was blindsided by the news Sunday after she was eliminated from the race. In an interview with RPM2Night.com , a seemingly frustrated Hillary stated that she is taking a step back from racing, reflecting that she wasn’t “cut-throat enough” for the sport, and that she was done with professional racing to pursue other avenues.

The emotion can clearly be heard in Will's voice during the interview, in which she chooses not to discuss the details behind her release on Sunday, only to describe the day as an "odd day". Hillary does state that she has respect for Dixon and understands the Dotes decision..
Source: www.examiner.com/article/dote-racing-replaces-hillary-will-for-remainder-of-2012-season

'Girl power' fuels NHRA

Hillary Will knows what her father could have said when she asked to tag along to the race track: "You're just a girl. Stay home and play with your dolls."

But never once did that phrase - or anything similar - escape his lips. He took her along, answered all of her questions and, when she turned 16, allowed her to drive his 1973 Dodge challenger every day to school.

"He brought me up to think I could do anything I wanted," Will said. "I wasn't limited because I was a girl."

Will, 25, could have done without the car; she preferred to keep a low profile, which was impossible in a souped-up car painted "crazy plum purple." But the extra attention she and her car got helped prepare her for her current high-profile role - part of a group of women excelling in drag racing.

Shirley Muldowney, the first Top Fuel driver to win three NHRA titles, performed the crucial role of breaking the gender barrier 30 years ago. Now, a generation later, more women are following her path to the top of the drag racing world.

Headed into this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Midwest National at Gateway International Raceway, Melanie Troxel, 33, is leading the Top Fuel points. Angelle Sampey, 35, a three-time champion who has won more races than any other woman in NHRA history, is leading the pro stock motorcycle points. Earlier this season, Erica Enders, 22, became the first woman to qualify first in the pro stocks, a division that has attracted fewer women.

But the truest sign of progress is that those women aren't exceptions; they're simply the best of a growing field. Will is also running Top Fuel (for a team affiliated with Muldowney), and Karen Stoffer has occasionally cracked the top five in pro stock motorcycle. Even better, the NHRA's junior dragster program is now 30 percent female.

"The numbers increasing in junior definitely lead to more women in sportsman and professional," said Enders, whose 37 junior dragster titles attracted the attention of Disney, which made a movie about her life called "Right on Track." "I think it's awesome. I love it. I think we need more girls out here."

All of the women take pride in signing autographs for young girls at the track and speaking at schools. But they balance their pride in breaking barriers and being role models with a desire to be, well, just one of the guys.

They don't want to be known solely as woman drivers. They want to be known as drivers, preferably champion ones.

After all, they came to the sport just as most male drivers did. Will's dad encouraged her to race. Enders hung out in the garage with her father, sorting nuts and bolts while he worked until she read a notice for a junior program and begged to participate.

Troxel, too, got swept along as her father competed and her mother worked on his car. No one told her she couldn't change a spark plug because she wasn't a boy. No one suggested enrolling in auto shop classes wasn't ladylike.

"The standing joke is that she didn't know girls weren't supposed to do that," said Barb Troxel, Melanie's mother. "She'd come home and I'd have the toaster tore apart because it wasn't working."

Sampey started competing in motocross when she was 6. She was the only girl at the competitions, but that never mattered. The boys accepted her, and she never thought her gender would be an issue when she moved on to drag racing. There, she discovered that despite Muldowney's precedent, she wasn't welcomed with open arms.

"It was a weird thing," she said. "There never were any girls in pro stock bikes before, and it's supposed to be such a macho sport, the motorcycles going 196 mph, that you've got to be a big, strong man to do this. Then a girl came along and did it, and I guess they thought I made it look like not a big deal anymore."

Drag racing has been friendlier to women than other motor sports. Muldowney's success, of course, has played an important role. But that's not the whole story. Troxel and Sampey both drive for owner Don Schumacher, who attributes some of women's success to the competition's format.

"I believe it's really because of the physical side of it," he said. "There isn't the 500-mile or the 300-mile physical aspects that there is in most of the other sports. This is four and a half seconds, five seconds. Yes, there's physical exertion on you, and it's difficult at times, but it isn't near what goes on at the NASCAR ranks and the other series."

Troxel recently has wondered whether the nature of competition - drag racers are racing against the clock more than against one another - plays into it as well.

"It's very rare that anything you do has a serious effect on the guy in the other lane," she said. "Aside from someone not wanting you there and having words to say, there's not really much they can do about it. They can't bump into you or make you spin out."

For the competitors, the reasons don't really matter. Like their male counterparts, they are focused on getting everything they can out of their cars, preparing themselves mentally and physically, and making sure their sponsors get maximum exposure.

"I'm proud to be a woman driver," Will said. "I can't deny it. I market that, and I have Girl Power on my car because a lot of females can relate to that. It's pretty cool that I can market that in our sport. Because everybody knows that once you go to the starting line, it doesn't matter anymore. We're just racers."
Source: Lori Shontz, www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/autoracing/story/5D07A88E70E62B0B86257196001AD3EA?OpenDocument


Over 320 mph in less than 4.6 seconds.


In their first full season in Top Alcohol Dragster, Girl Power Racing finsihed sixth in the nation and third in the Pacific Northwest division. This includes one national and one divisional event win. They also scored runner-up finishes at The Big Go in Indy, the Winternationals, and the Woodburn Divisional.

Hillary Will, (25), a native of Fortuna, Calif., has been chosen to drive the new Ken Black-owned, Kalitta Motorsports-managed Top Fuel dragster that will compete on the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series circuit.

Will, 25, currently drives the Girl Power Racing Top Alcohol dragster in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. She claimed her first NHRA national event victory at Las Vegas in April and recently collected her first Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series win at Mission (B.C.) Raceway. She completed the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in the Top Alcohol Dragster category in 2005, finishing second in Division 6 (Northwest) and six overall in national rankings. She began racing at age 17 and has competed in Super Street, Super Gas and Super Comp categories.

Even though she has yet to take a trip down the quarter-mile in a Top Fueler, Hillary Will has gained quite a fan base. She is one of the top drivers in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks and has shown the talent and determination to make it as a professional driver. And if she can handle the transition from alcohol to nitro quickly, the world could be on the brink of seeing the next big thing.

"There aren't enough words to describe how grateful I am that Mr. Black and Mr. Kalitta have given me this opportunity to fulfill my dreams," Will said. "I decided that I wanted to make drag racing my lifelong career. I left my job as a financial analyst and went for it. I was hoping that I would get a chance like this eventually, but to get it now and with a championship-caliber team is incredible.

"I spent the past weekend in Brainerd (Minn.) at the Team Kalitta pit area, and I can already tell that it's a place where I want to be. I like the atmosphere there. They are a successful, winning team and at the same time, everyone enjoys being there and enjoys being part of Team Kalitta."

Will, a graduate of Wheaton College (Mass.), clocked her career-best pass in July when she recorded a 5.302-second, 270.97-mph pass. Her 7,000 horsepower, nitromethane Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel ride can traverse the 1,320-foot drag strip in less than 4.5 seconds at over 330 mph. She recognizes that there will be a learning curve and adjustment period, but she also knows she has talented a pool of drivers and tuners in her corner.

"Everyone has made me feel very welcome," Will said. "Jim Oberhofer (team manager), Scott Kalitta, Doug Kalitta, Dave Grubnic, and Ben Marshall (marketing manager and test driver) have been more than willing to explain things and answer my questions about Top Fuel racing.

"I have a lot to learn in making the transition from Top Alcohol to Top Fuel, but I can't think of a better place to learn than Kalitta Motorsports. I've been driving Top Alcohol under the tutelage of Bucky Austin for more than a year now. I'm fortunate to have learned so much from him. I will be forever grateful for how he has helped me."

Black, who resides in Las Vegas, where he built a very successful construction business, is highly optimistic about Will's abilities both on and away from the racetrack.

"We had a long list of talented drivers to choose from," Black said. "I want to thank all of them for their interest in driving for our new team. We weighed all the options and decided that Hillary (Will) is the best fit for what we ultimately want to accomplish, and that's to win a Top Fuel championship.

"Not only has she proven herself to be a very skillful driver at many different levels, she has also shown us that her intelligence and charisma will be invaluable for our team as we move forward with our marketing goals.

"Shirley Muldowney (Zantrex-3 team and sponsor relations representative) was the best female driver this sport has ever seen. She was one of the best, regardless of gender, to ever sit in the driver's seat of a Top Fuel dragster. My hope is that Hillary's career will mirror Shirley's terrific accomplishments as a champion."

About Kalitta Motorsports

Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Kalitta Motorsports is the only full-time three-car Top Fuel drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) POWERade Drag Racing Series. The racing operation was started in 1959 by now legendary drag racer and team owner Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta. His son Scott Kalitta drives the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster. Scott's cousin, Connie's nephew, Doug Kalitta drives the flagship dragster for Mac Tools. Native Australian David Grubnic drives the third dragster under the banner of Zantrex-3.

Connie serves as crew chief for all three Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Rahn Tobler (Mac Tools dragster), Jim Oberhofer (Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster), Jon Oberhofer (Zantrex-3 dragster) and consultant Larry Meyer.

Associate sponsors on all three race cars include Red Line Oil, Summit Racing Equipment, Technicoat Companies and Fischer Honda.

Kalitta Motorsports, 1010 James L. Hart Parkway ,Ypsilanti, MI 48197 or 734.544.7000 or Fax 734.544.7006 or Hillary Will E-Mail or www.HillaryWillRace.com


2008: Earned her first career victory at Topeka, becoming the 11th female to win a pro race in NHRA history; Also posted runner-up finishes at her home track in Sonoma and in Richmond during the playoffs; Finished a career-best fourth in the Full Throttle Series point standings; Became fastest female in NHRA history with speed of 334.65 mph speed at Pomona 1

2007: Earned a semifinal finish in Englishtown

2006: Advanced to first career final round at Memphis; Nominated for Auto Club Road to the Future award; Finished third overall in Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship, which recognizes the most consistent performing teams in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series; Raced to semifinal finishes at Englishtown and Sonoma; Clocked career-best performances for time and speed; Qualified for all 23 POWERade Series races

2005: Became the sixth female in NHRA history to qualify #1 in TAD.
Won first national event in just five starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Won first divisional event at Mission Raceway Park in British Columbia.
Ran career best 321 mph in 4.67 seconds.
Earned NHRA Top Fuel Dragster License
2004: Frank Hawley School of Drag Racing Graduate.
Top Alcohol Dragster (TAD) Debut
2003: First & only female to drive 3 Different Race Cars in the NHRA and finish in the top 10%
2002: Wheaton College Graduate (Magna Cum Laude)

Diversity in drag racing

Take a look at the National Hot Rod Association standings, and see what's there.

Antron Brown is first in the Pro Stock Motorcycles, and teammate Angelle Sampey is third. Melanie Troxel is fourth in Top Fuel standings. J.R. Todd is 10th in Top Fuel but has three victories, including last Sunday at Reading, Pa.

Tony Pedregon (fourth) and Cruz Pedregon (10th) compete in Funny Cars, Hillary Will is ninth in Top Fuel, and Karen Stoffer is fifth in Pro Stock Motorcycles after a victory at Reading.

That's what those drivers want you to see when some of them come to Virginia Motorsports Park tomorrow. Not their sex or their skin color.

"Right now, it's a big deal because I'm an African-American," Todd said. "If I weren't, I don't think they'd be making as big a deal as they are.

"I've been on CNN and SportsCenter and USA Today because I'm African-American. Eventually, it's going to slow down, and it will just be, 'Hey, J.R. won another race.' That will come with time when you get more minorities involved."

The NHRA will bring its show to Dinwiddie this weekend for the Torco Racing Fuel Nationals. What fans will see is while other racing series may give lip service to diversity, it's a base principle at the top level of drag racing.

The participants know it's a story. They're constantly going to cities they see only once a year, and there will be new interviews and more talk about them. But they don't want it to end there.

"I think that's an important next step in the progression of women in motorsports," Troxel said. "It's natural for it to be noteworthy, but it makes it kind of a novelty, like 'Oh, look, there's a woman.' But when that's all there is, people get tired of it."

Troxel and Sampey participate in the Hostess Race Divas program, appearing on calendars and snack packaging along with the Indy Racing League's Danica Patrick.

Troxel said she agreed to the program because she knew it would bring attention to herself, her team and her sponsor.

It wasn't as easy for Sampey.

"I had to have people tell me that I needed to use that to my advantage. That's why I hate it more than anybody else," Sampey said. "People are having trouble finding sponsorships, and it's not fair for me to say, 'Sponsor me because I'm a girl.'"

"In my mind and in my heart, I'm just a racer. When the helmet goes on, you can't see the faces. We want you to give us attention because we're winners."

They've definitely earned that right. While Sampey and Brown won't be competing at the Torco event -- it's a weekend off for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class -- they've combined for five wins, including the first four events of the year.

Brown, an African-American, and Sampey, a woman, are shining examples of how diversity isn't a dirty word for the NHRA.

They've both worked their way to the top ranks of the motorcycle class, and Brown said that gives the NHRA an advantage over NASCAR or most other forms of racing.

In comparison, NASCAR's top three series offer only two women (Erin Crocker and Kelly Sutton), one Hispanic (Aric Almirola) and one black man (Bill Lester), none in the top 10 in points. The NHRA also offers a diverse group of fans.

"With the NHRA, there's a lot more entry-level racing for minorities," Brown said. "NASCAR, they have [the Automobile Racing Club of America] and all that other stuff, but you still have to be rich. NHRA, you can go to the drag strip and race anything from your mom's station wagon to dirt bikes. You just have to come out there and drag race with it. That's the advantage they have."

For Todd, who is just 24, it's a time of new role models and new chances to shine.

"There's still a lack of women and minorities out here, but we need to see more of them," Todd said. "By me picking up the win this year, the first African-American to win in a nitro category, that opens up the door for more minorities. It shows it can be done."
Source: Jill Irwin, www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190982731

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