Las Vegas II: Rod Fuller Shootout report

FULLER WINS TECHNICOAT SHOOTOUT AT LAS VEGAS, EARNS $100,000 PAYOUT LAS VEGAS (Oct. 27, 2007) -- Rod Fuller displayed his driving prowess Saturday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway driving his David Powers-owned Caterpillar ...

FULLER WINS TECHNICOAT SHOOTOUT AT LAS VEGAS, EARNS $100,000 PAYOUT

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 27, 2007) -- Rod Fuller displayed his driving prowess Saturday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway driving his David Powers-owned Caterpillar dragster to a $100,000 payday in the Technicoat Shootout. It is his first career victory in the lucrative bonus event.

The five-time NHRA Top Fuel winner knocked off fan-favorite David Grubnic, 2006 NHRA Rookie of the Year J.R. Todd and four-time NHRA Top Fuel winner Melanie Troxel to earn the $100,000 check from the Technicoat cowboys (Bob Coffman and Glen Williams). It was just Fuller's second appearance in the annual bonus event. He drove to a runner-up finish in the Shootout last October. Fuller now has a round record of 5-1 in the Technicoat Shootout.

In the opening round, Fuller raced to one of the closest wins of his career. The hometown hero used a .056 of-a-second reaction time and a solid Rob Flynn tune-up to score the holeshot win over Grubnic. The CAT dragster clocked a pass of 4.576 seconds at 324.20 mph to narrowly edge Grubnic's pass of 4.561 seconds.

The University of Arkansas grad then used Flynn's "Canadian Horsepower" to earn his second consecutive trip to the money round in the Shootout. Fuller powered the Caterpillar dragster to a run of 4.529 at 326.32 to hold off Todd's pass of 4.574 at 326.95. He would meet Troxel in the final round after four-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher was disqualified following a semifinal victory over Troxel.

In the final round of the Technicoat Shootout, two of the more popular drivers in the sport put on a terrific show for the capacity crowd at The Strip. The local racer used the best reaction time of the Shootout, .035 of-a-second, to score the wire-to-wire holeshot victory. The CAT dragster posted a lap of 4.527 at 329.99 to hold off Troxel's pass of 4.526 at 326.40. It was Fuller's second holeshot victory of the day.

"This feels so great," Fuller said. "We should have won the Shootout last year and had a mechanical failure in the final against Doug Kalitta. We were ahead at 1,000 foot and the crankshaft broke. That was a tough loss. To come back and win in front of my home crowd is just a dream come true.

"Some times I really need to pinch myself to make sure this is for real. I'm a humble guy and really consider myself just that little Super Comp racer from Northwest Arkansas. We weren't running very well the past few races and we've faced a lot of adversity this season. For David and R.J. Powers to stick behind us and have Caterpillar step us, things couldn't be better. I'm so thankful to be here."

"It was an awesome day, what can I say," Flynn added. "Not only did we win, our car is back performance-wise too. I'm not surprised we won. I felt we had as good a chance as anyone as long as we got the power up. We just struggled getting the horsepower right and we didn't get it right until the second round of the Shootout. We made some aggressive changes and we did what the car told us it wanted."

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel , David Powers , Rod Fuller , J.R. Todd
Teams Williams