Las Vegas II: Rod Fuller final report

FULLER RACES CAT UNDERCARRIAGE CAR TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT FALL LAS VEGAS RACE LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller nearly defended his crown at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. The seven-time Top Fuel winner and hometown hero posted a ...

FULLER RACES CAT UNDERCARRIAGE CAR TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT FALL LAS VEGAS RACE

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller nearly defended his crown at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. The seven-time Top Fuel winner and hometown hero posted a runner-up finish behind the wheel of his CAT Undercarriage dragster Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Fuller, a Las Vegas resident, posted his quickest and fastest 1,000-foot pass on Saturday afternoon, 3.816 seconds at 318.39 mph, to qualify third at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. The defending event champion defeated Canadian driver Tim Boychuk, Top Fuel starlet Hillary Will, and teammate Antron Brown before falling to six-time series champion Tony Schumacher in the final round.

As the fourth pair of cars to race in the opening round, Fuller used a Rob Flynn tune-up to race the CAT Undercarriage dragster to the second quickest pass of the round. The hometown favorite raced to a lap of 3.829 seconds at 317.72 mph to advance to round two. Fuller's speed was the fastest of the round. Boychuk trailed at 3.963 at 292.90 in his black dragster. It was Fuller's 110th career round win.

Fuller and the Caterpillar team advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the Seattle race in July by knocking off the second-place Top Fuel driver. Fuller used the quickest and fastest pass of the round to race the CAT Undercarriage dragster into the semifinals with a performance of 3.813 at 318.32. Will's black car smoked the tires and slowed to a run of 4.648 at 199.23. It was Fuller's 25th round win this season. The 3.813-second elapsed time was Fuller's quickest 1,000-foot E.T.

Competing in the semifinals for the first time since the Seattle race in July, Fuller again posted low elapsed time of the round to advance to his third final round of the season. The Flynn-tuned dragster posted a lap of 3.821 at 314.46 to score the win light in the left lane at the LVMS track. Brown's Matco Tools dragster overpowered the track and slowed to a run of 5.960 at 104.96.

Squaring off against the U.S. Army dragster for the 10th time in 23 races in 2008, Fuller got the narrow jump at the start in the CAT Undercarriage car and blasted to a run of 3.821 at 315.19, but the Alan Johnson-tuned rail was slightly quicker at 3.806 at 314.53 to score it's 15th Top Fuel victory of the season. Fuller is now 2-8 against Schumacher this season and 1-2 in three final rounds. Fuller has raced Schumacher in all three of his final round appearances this year (St. Louis, Chicago and Las Vegas 2).

"It was a really good weekend for our team," Fuller said. "I'm really excited for the future of this team. My entire CAT team did a great job. We had a bracket car today and all weekend long running in the 3.80s. I really think this CAT car is back. We lost to the baddest car in the land. There's nobody that can tune a dragster to outrun those guys, but these two David Powers (Motorsports) cars are getting close. It's going to be very different next year."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 44th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 13-16, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , David Powers , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will