Fuller looking for more Chicago success
Chicago, pre-race: Last weekend in Topeka, Kan., Rod Fuller qualified the Caterpillar dragster fourth with a run of 4.565 at 320.13 mph. It was the 10th time Fuller started from the No. 4 position. He was defeated in the opening round by Morgan Lucas. Heartland Park Topeka remains the only track on tour where Fuller has yet to win a round of racing.
Fuller enters the 10th race on the 2008 NHRA schedule ranked sixth in the Top Fuel standings. He has one win this season, St. Louis, where he defeated Tony Schumacher in the final round at Gateway International Raceway.
“I’m excited about getting to Joliet,” he said. “I was born in Chicago and we run well at Route 66 Raceway. We did great there last season, and I know we’ll have the largest cheering section all weekend long. Caterpillar is bringing more than 3,000 employees to the track to root us on and that’s an awesome feeling to have that kind of support behind you.”
Last season, Fuller carded the quickest pass of his career to qualify second with a run of 4.464 seconds at the Joliet track. Fuller advanced his Fabick CAT dragster to the final round where he fell to Larry Dixon after the CAT dragster smoked the tires. It was he 10th career final round appearances. He also advanced to the final round at Route 66 Raceway in the spring Joliet race in 2005 where he fell to Scott Kalitta, 4.518 to 4.602. It was Fuller’s second career final round appearance.
“We did real well there last year,” confirmed crew chief Lee Beard. “We did make a mistake in the final round. Now, we have all of Caterpillar behind us and we’ll have a lot of support and we look forward to doing well this weekend.”
Fuller has qualified for 70 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 5.75 in four races at Route 66 Raceway.
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