FULLER DRIVES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH AT U.S. NATIONALS, NOW THIRD IN COUNTDOWN STANDINGS CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) -- Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned MacAllister CAT dragster to the semifinals of the prestigious U.S. Nationals for the...
FULLER DRIVES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH AT U.S. NATIONALS, NOW THIRD IN COUNTDOWN STANDINGS
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2007) -- Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned MacAllister CAT dragster to the semifinals of the prestigious U.S. Nationals for the second straight season Sunday at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Fuller now ranks third in the POWERade Top Fuel standings with three races remaining in the Countdown to Four.
After qualifying sixth for the first time this season with a 4.524-second blast on Friday evening under the lights at O.R.P., the Las Vegas racer edged Doug Herbert and Bob Vandergriff, Jr., before falling to two-time series champion Larry Dixon in the semifinals.
Facing off against Herbert for the second straight race, Fuller ran his career mark to 9-4 versus the North Carolina driver. Herbert used a great .044 of-a-second reaction time to get the starting line advantage, but Fuller had Rob Flynn's "Canadian Horsepower" to card the win. Fuller sailed his yellow-and-black dragster to a run of 4.556 seconds at 322.27 mph to hold off Herbert's pass of 4.659-seconds. In three career Top Fuel tries at the U.S. Nationals, Fuller has never been defeated in the opening round of the prestigious Indianapolis race.
In the second round, Fuller was matched up against the Georgia racer for the fifth time this season. Having lost three straight races against Vandergriff, all in the semifinals, the drivers used nearly identical reaction times, but Vandergriff's brown rail lost traction instantly. Fuller's Flynn-tuned rail cruised to a pass of 4.734 at 312.93 to earn a semifinal birth for the 13th time in 18 races this year. Fuller is now 2-3 against Vandergriff in 2007.
Battling Dixon for the fourth time this season, two of the elite drivers in the Top Fuel division used solid reaction times, but the MacAllister CAT rail lost traction early and slowed to a pass of 6.083 at 156.59 in the right lane on the hot O.R.P. track. Dixon blazed to a pass of 4.642 at 316.23 to advance to the final round. It was the second straight year that Fuller advanced to the semifinals at the U.S. Nationals.
"It's kind of a bummer going to a place of this magnitude and it turned into a one lane race track," Fuller said. "It just wasn't going to make it down the track in that right lane. It's pretty disheartening to be number three in the points now. It's hard to take. We had a malfunction in the second round and we were lucky to win that round. Going to the semifinals at the U.S. Nationals is nothing be down about. Now, we're going to the track that I do really well at, Memphis. In the big picture, we just have to make it in the final four. I'd almost rather not be first going into (Las) Vegas and lose the points lead again."