Las Vegas: Rod Fuller final summary

FULLER RACES TO SEMIFINALS AT LAS VEGAS, MAINTAINS POINTS LEAD LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) -- Rod Fuller put on a great show for his large hometown cheering section as the Las Vegas resident powered his all-white David Powers-owned dragster to a...

FULLER RACES TO SEMIFINALS AT LAS VEGAS, MAINTAINS POINTS LEAD

LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) -- Rod Fuller put on a great show for his large hometown cheering section as the Las Vegas resident powered his all-white David Powers-owned dragster to a semifinal effort Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The rising Top Fuel star continues to lead the POWERade Top Fuel standings through the first five races of the season.

Fuller qualified his all-white dragster in the No. 3 position for the second straight event after posting a run of 4.498-seconds on Friday evening under the lights at The Strip at LVMS. He knocked off a tire-smoking Mike Strasburg in the first round and two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, before bowing out to Bob Vandergriff, Jr. in the semifinals.

In their opening-round match-up, Fuller and Strasburg used nearly identical reaction times, but the Utah driver's dragster lost traction early, while Fuller, the local fan favorite, soared by to collect the win light. Fuller powered his Rob Flynn-tuned dragster to the third quickest pass of the round, 4.580 seconds at 324.90 mph, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Facing off for the sixth time, Dixon used a stout .043 (of-a-second) reaction time to race to the early lead in his orange and white dragster, but Flynn's "Canadian Power" proved too much as Fuller blasted to the win. The Arkansas native piloted his all-white dragster to a performance of 4.545 at 327.11 to edge Dixon's pass of 4.584-seconds and advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in five races this season. Fuller ran his record to 4-2 against the 38-time NHRA winner and carded the second quickest pass of the second round.

In his 99th career Top Fuel race, Fuller and Vandergriff used nearly identical reaction times, but the four-time NHRA Top Fuel winner's white dragster suffered a mechanical problem and slowed to a pass of 5.413-seconds. Vandergriff drove to a lap of 4.596 seconds to advance to his first final round since the 2004 season. Fuller ran his season mark to 10-4. He leads second-place racer J.R. Todd by 41 points.

"Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results," Fuller said. "Deep down, I'm depressed. Anywhere else, I'd be happy with another semifinal finish, but being home, I'm not. I want to win this race more than any other race, even Indy. This is home. How awesome would it be to celebrate with my friends and family.

"This is two races in a row that we've broken something in the semifinals here. The car has been on, now we just need a little luck to win this race. We had some gremlins all weekend. We fought through them. I'm just impressed with our race team. We've been the points leader since February. We extended the points lead. Now, I'm hoping for my third career national event victory at Atlanta in two weeks."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 27th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals, April 26-29, at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. Fuller qualified third at Atlanta Dragway last spring. He is a two-time Super Comp winner at the Southern Nationals.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Strasburg , Bob Vandergriff , David Powers , Rod Fuller , J.R. Todd