Fuller crosses centerline in first round
Houston, Sunday: The first round of elimination racing at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals pitted David Powers Homes/Valvoline Top Fuel driver "Hot Rod" Fuller against part-time competitor Clay Millican. The win lights were glowing after beating Millican to the finish line. But after reviewing a video tape replay of the run, NHRA officials determined that Fuller had crossed the center stripe, which automatically disqualifies the competitor.
"After the engine was started and the burnouts were completed we had to wait for the Millican team to get set at the Christmas Tree." Fuller said. "Every second that a top fuel motor runs, it's sucking down fuel. Fuel is weight and with the tank up in the nose of the car it's important that we have at least as much as our competitor when the light turns green. With that delay we knew the car would be lighter in the nose than theirs but didn't feel it would be enough to overcome the downforce created by the front wing. As it turned out, it was and caused a loss of steering control, so across the centerline we went."
Despite his early exit from the event, Fuller continues his chase for the NHRA POWERade points lead from the third position, just a few notches down from Top Fuel leader Melanie Troxel.
"We've got the new, mandated slick figured out and we'll be ready for a showdown in Vegas," crew chief Lee Beard said. "That's ‘Hot Rod's’ home track so I know he'll be pumped and the crew will be, too.
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