Fuller looking to build on momentum
Bristol, pre-race: Two weeks ago at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Rod Fuller qualified his Caterpillar dragster eighth with a time of 4.541 seconds. The Las Vegas racer raced to his seventh career Top Fuel victory by defeating five-time series champion Tony Schumacher in the final round 4.525 to 4.583 seconds. It was Fullerís 20th career NHRA national event victory. He also has won 13 races in the Super Comp/Gas category.
Fuller enters the eighth race on the 2008 NHRA schedule ranked fourth in the Top Fuel standings. He jumped two positions after winning the St. Louis race. Fuller has raced a consistent dragster at the last two races. The Caterpillar rail has gone down the race track on its last 14 passes running between 4.525 seconds and 4.634 seconds.
Fuller has advanced to the final round twice in three races at Bristol Dragway. He posted runner-up finishes to Doug Kalitta at Thunder Valley in 2005 and Ď06. The 2005 final round was Fullerís first career Top Fuel final round appearance. Last July at Bristol, Fuller qualified fourth with a run of 4.592 seconds at 323.04 mph. He advanced to the semifinals before falling to Bob Vandergriff, Jr.
Added crew chief Rob Flynn, ďIím excited about getting to Bristol,Ē said Fuller. ďIíve been there three times and have been to two final rounds. The way the CAT dragster is running, I donít see why we canít win a second straight race. Our car is so consistent right now and that gives me a lot of confidence as a driver. Bristol is an SMI track and spending so much time at LVMS, I feel like Iím part of the SMI family. We expect to do well at Bristol.Ē
Fuller has qualified for 68 consecutive NHRA Top Fuel events. The last time he failed to make the cut was at the Houston race in 1996 when he was driving the Montana Express dragster on a part time schedule. Fuller has the second longest qualifying streak in Top Fuel (Tony Schumacher) and has an average starting position of sixth in three races at Bristol Dragway.
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