Indianapolis: Rod Fuller Sunday summary

Fuller a major player at 'Biggest Show in Drag Racing' INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3) -- Top Fuel driver "Hot Rod" Fuller may have just 42 professional starts under his belt, but the 35-year-old former sportsman star is racing like a veteran, securing...

Fuller a major player at 'Biggest Show in Drag Racing'

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 3) -- Top Fuel driver "Hot Rod" Fuller may have just 42 professional starts under his belt, but the 35-year-old former sportsman star is racing like a veteran, securing the fourth position in the quickest racing field ever assembled Sunday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. Fuller's quick 4.509-second pass at 329.67 mph got the job done.

Fuller's quest for the title of drag racing's longest-running and most prestigious event -- the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals -- will start against No. 13 qualifier Andrew Cowin, who earned his spot with a pass of 4.572 at 323.12 mph. Fuller and his Valvoline/David Powers Homes race team will enter the contest with lane choice.

"We finally saw sunshine today and our car loved it," Fuller said. "We were the quickest of both sessions today and that really has us pumped up going into race day. You couldn't have asked for two better runs to have heading into eliminations."

It's no surprise that Fuller is running well. He's already captured two Wally trophies this year for his national event wins in Phoenix and Englishtown, N.J. Additionally, the Indianapolis-based team is coming off a low qualifying effort at the last NHRA event in Memphis, Tenn. They were also low qualifiers in St. Louis earlier this summer.

"We're hitting our stride at the perfect time of the season," Fuller said. "The stretch run is here and every race, every round, seems bigger and bigger. Maybe everyone's looking at Doug Kalitta up there at the top of the points and Tony Schumacher, but let me tell you, I think it's a mistake to look past this team.

"It would be a great accomplishment to win Indy. It's the biggest and best drag race in the world and it would be an honor for us to earn that trophy. It sure isn't gonna be easy but we're prepared to run all out."

The $2.6 million Mac Tools U.S. Nationals pays $75,000 to the Top Fuel winner, the largest single race payout on the regular schedule. The event is the 18th of 23 on the POWERade drag racing tour. Fuller has two runner-up finishes here as a sportsman racer.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , David Powers , Rod Fuller