Fuller knocks out points leader on road to final
Bristol, Sunday: Top Fuel pilot "Hot Rod" Fuller has taken the Valvoline/David Powers Motorsports dragster to it's second final round appearance in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season,
After an overnight storm briefly delayed the start of today's event, Fuller promptly dismissed Cory McClenathan with a solid 4.502 second run in the first round of final eliminations of the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals.
In round two, he was matched up against current NHRA point's leader Melanie Troxel, who handed Fuller a belated birthday present by red lighting -.034 seconds before the green light was displayed. "I couldn't believe it," said Fuller. "As soon as I saw her leave before the green, I knew there was no need to push the car any further and I just coasted across the line."
Semifinal action pitted Fuller against David Grubnic. Fuller soundly defeated Grubnic from the hit of the throttle with a .076 second reaction time, and a quarter-mile speed of 327.66 mph in just 4.533 seconds to Grubnic's 4.640.
The final round showdown was a re-match from last year's event between Fuller's Valvoline dragster and the Mac Tools machine driven by Doug Kalitta. Tire smoke from Fuller's ride gave the win light to Kalitta who clicked the quarter mile timer at 4.537 seconds at 331.53 seconds, one of his best runs of the day.
"We knew we had to step it up to beat Kalitta," said Fuller. "We put a little more in the car than the track could handle but the best part of it all is we climbed back into the top 5 in points and chipped a little from Melanie's lead. I've been saying all along that this team is championship caliber and today we proved ourselves once again."
Fuller's 360 points pulls him to within 200 points of leader Troxel and moves him into the fourth spot in NHRA points heading into next weekend's event in Atlanta.
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