Brainerd: Rod Fuller preview

Fuller to thank Mayo Clinic staff who saved his mother's life BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 5) -- Top Fuel racer and championship contender "Hot Rod" Fuller is used to racing in Minnesota. Last November, however, he was frantically racing to Minnesota...

Fuller to thank Mayo Clinic staff who saved his mother's life

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 5) -- Top Fuel racer and championship contender "Hot Rod" Fuller is used to racing in Minnesota. Last November, however, he was frantically racing to Minnesota to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester to be at the bedside of his ailing mother Cathy, who suddenly needed a liver transplant.

Fortunately, like many of his previous trips to Brainerd International Raceway when he raced in Division 5 events in the sportsman categories, Cathy emerged from her Minnesota visit a winner. Her body accepted the new liver and her health dramatically improved within days. The miracle workers at Mayo Clinic had done it again.

Now, on the eve of this year's 25th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Rod returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes with Cathy at his side, ready to contend for the title of the 16th event on the 23-race POWERade tour. This time through he'll be trying to impress a very special group of new fans -- the medical team that saved his mother's life.

"When mom was at Mayo Clinic, she was pestering the staff about turning on ESPN2 so she could watch me race at the Finals in Pomona," Fuller said. "When I found out she was so sick, I wanted to leave the race and come to Minnesota, but she insisted that I stay and race. She's always been a big supporter of my career, but that went above and beyond anything I could ask for.

"She was definitely on my mind the whole weekend and I talked to the staff at Mayo Clinic plenty of times. As soon as I was done racing, I was on my way to see her. The nurses and doctors were awesome. Not only did they save her life, they kept me up-to-date on everything that was going on and assured me she was in the best hands possible. It allowed me to focus on racing so I could do my job.

"As mom was recovering, she told all the people there about me and what we do. She promised them that when the tour came back to Minnesota, she'd have them all out for a day at the races. Now we get the chance to show them our appreciation, NHRA-style."

Rod could very well show Mayo Clinic staff the winner's circle as his Valvoline dragster continues to be one of the top cars in the sport's most recognizable class. With two wins on the season, Rod has to be considered a favorite for this weekend's race.

To support the people that saved his mother's life, Rod will display a Donate Life decal promoting organ and tissue donation. Fellow Top Fuel racer David Baca, whose father-in-law Frank Gau also is an organ donor recipient, will join Rod in supporting donation by displaying a similar sticker on his Mach 1 Air Services dragster.

Nationally there are more than 92,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and thousands of individuals are in need of a tissue transplant. One person can save or enhance up to 60 lives through organ and tissue donation. Minnesotans can register online to be an organ and tissue donor at www.DonateLifeMN.org; to find out how to save lives through donation in other states, visit www.DonateLife.net.

-credit: www.davidpowermotorsports.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca , Rod Fuller