Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Fuller suffers rare early loss
Brainerd, Sunday: Rod Fuller maintained his position atop the NHRA Top Fuel standings on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway despite falling in the opening round of eliminations for just this fourth time this season. The David Powers Motorsports driver still holds at 93-point lead over Brandon Bernstein.
Fuller qualified seventh at the 26th annual Brainerd race with a run of 4.605-seconds on Saturday. It was only the second time this season he has qualified lower than fourth. In the opening round of eliminations, he was matched against six-time IHRA champion Clay Millican for the fourth time this season. Two of the better leavers in the Top Fuel division, they used nearly identical reaction times, but Fullerís all-white dragster dropped a cylinder and lost traction forcing the five-time winner to pedal. The
ďIím lucky,Ē Fuller said. ďI never cheer against anyone, but as a competitor, you want to go into the Countdown No. 1, so when (Tony) Schumacher went out, that made it more comfortable on us. We were excited our teammate won a round. It was just a tough weekend for us. We werenít qualified well. We really were in test-mode this weekend and we needed to do that to learn some stuff. You always need to try and stay ahead and learn new things. We donít have the luxury of testing like most teams. We donít hardly ever drop cylinders and it dropped a cylinder at the hit of the throttle and (Clay) Millican made a good solid run and it wasnít our day.Ē
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