Dallas: Rod Fuller final summary

Fuller waltzes to final in Texas DALLAS (Sept. 24) -- A runner-up finish at the 21st annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals lifted Valvoline racer "Hot Rod" Fuller to the elite top five in the POWERade Top Fuel rankings. Fuller beat Bob Vandergriff, ...

Fuller waltzes to final in Texas

DALLAS (Sept. 24) -- A runner-up finish at the 21st annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals lifted Valvoline racer "Hot Rod" Fuller to the elite top five in the POWERade Top Fuel rankings. Fuller beat Bob Vandergriff, David Baca and three-time defending champ Tony Schumacher en route to his seventh career final before falling to red-hot Brandon Bernstein.

"It's hard to be anything but happy with our performance this weekend," said Fuller, who has collected wins in Phoenix and Englishtown, N.J., this season. "It's always a little painful to race all the way to the final and then lose but today was Brandon's day and he got the win.

"Last year we made it into the top 10 even though we only raced in 15 events. This year our goal from the start was to get into the top five so we're there. Now the key will be staying there, which I don't think will be very tough if we stay running like we have."

The David Powers Motorsports dragster was awesome until the final, running a 4.52 against Vandergriff, a 4.59 against Baca, and a 4.56 against Schumacher. Fuller even carried lane choice into the final round, but his car's tune-up was too aggressive and he smoked the tires very early in the race against Bernstein.

"When you run against the top cars you have to have no fear," Fuller said. "Lee Beard tuned to what he thought the track would hold but the tune-up was too hot. Brandon got down that right lane and posted a 4.61, which we could have beaten, but like I said, it wasn't our day today."

The NHRA tour now returns to Reading, Pa., for the rain-delayed Toyo Tires race that was originally scheduled for last weekend.

"Hopefully our momentum continues there," Fuller said. "We're primed for a win and I'd love for it to come there."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Brandon Bernstein , Bob Vandergriff , David Powers , Rod Fuller