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Custer Qualifies on Pole, Hill Advances to Semifinals in Houston

Courtesy Roy Hill

SOPHIA, NC – In his first race in the Roy Hill / Phoenix Racing Super Stock Ford Cobra Jet owned by James Finch, hometown racer Dewayne Custer was the number one qualifier at the recently-completed 24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals held at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, TX, with an 8.615 on a 9.70 index. After taking the top-qualifier bye run in the first round, Custer’s day came to an early end at the hands of Bill Devine in round two.

Drag racing icon Roy Hill qualified his Coca-Cola, Alsco, and Baytown Ford-sponsored Cobra Jet ninth, posting a best elapsed time of 8.870 seconds on the same 9.70 index. Hill advanced past Harvey Emmons III with a .002 reaction time in round one, defeated Kevin Helms in round two, and trailered Jerry Emmons in the third round before falling to eventual winner Larry Stewart in the semifinals. This marked the second race in a row Hill has lost to the eventual race winner.

Hill was thrilled with the weekend’s results, both his own and those of Custer as a first-timer in the Super Stock Cobra Jet.

“I think Dewayne did a great job, especially without having spent any time in the car,” said Hill. “He’s used to a different style of car than my Cobra Jet, but he adapted very well. I trusted him. I told him what to do, to go cut it loose. He improved every run and that’s all you can ask for. He represented Tommie Vaughn Ford, who we had on the side of his car for the weekend, very well.”

“As far as what I accomplished, I’m making improvements each week,” Hill continued. “I had been out of a car for a long time, and it’s taken me a while to get back in the groove, but I feel better and better in the car each time we take it out. I had some great lights this weekend, so I’ll be looking to build off of that.”

The next stop for the team is Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA, where Hill will compete in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals on May 13-15, then again the following weekend in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

“We’re looking for a driver, or drivers, to put in the second Cobra Jet for both events in Atlanta,” Hill said. “We’ve proven what we’re capable of delivering for a driver: we can give them a number one car and if the gunslinger is good enough to cut lights and win rounds, we’ll keep it dialed in for them. Whether it’s a student of Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School or a seasoned veteran, we have a lot to offer for a driver looking for a ride.”

Visit for more information about Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School and the team’s 2011 plans.

Photo by Joel Smith /

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