LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2007) -- "Canadian Power" is back. Points leader and hometown fan favorite "Hot" Rod Fuller earned the provision No. 3 qualifying position Friday evening at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after blasting his all-white dragster to a 4.498-second elapsed time. It was his eighth 4.4-second pass on the year.

The current POWERade points leader may not have a fulltime primary sponsor on this side of his David Powers-owned race car, but the rest of the Top Fuel contingent are quite aware of Fuller and his Rob Flynn-led race team. The four-time NHRA Top Fuel winner opened the day with a solid run of 4.755 seconds at 274.22 mph after his all-white dragster lost traction down track.

With associate support from the Silverton Casino and Lodge this weekend, the local racer posted a stout performance Friday evening under the lights at The Strip. In the left lane, Fuller pierced the throttle and blistered the LVMS quarter mile in 4.498 at 328.94 to record the third quickest effort of the day. Three cars recorded 4.4-second ETs on Friday (Tony Schumacher and Brady Kalivoda).

"That first run we had the car setup to run a mid-4.50 and we had an oil line come off," Fuller said. "That puts you in a bad spot and the pressure is on because when we came up to make our second run we weren't in. We were No. 17 before our second run. You don't want to go out there and shoot for low E.T., so we backed it off to make sure we had a good run to get in the show because tomorrow is supposed to be hot and sticky. I was impressed. I would have been happy with a low 4.50 and it ran 4.49."

"We were trying not to be too aggressive on Friday night," Flynn added. "Knowing the weather is going to be different on Saturday, we didn't push as hard as we would have had we made a good opening run. We weren't trying to run a 4.47. We were shooting for a 4.49 or 4.50. With it going to be warmer on Saturday, we'll have to go back to a finesse setup. We didn't have that right on the first run, so we'll have to work on that."

Top Fuel qualifying continues with sessions scheduled for 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. (PT) on Saturday afternoon at The Strip. ESPN2 will air two hours of qualifying coverage from 6-8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday evening. Last year, Fuller qualified his Valvoline rail ninth at the spring Vegas event.

-credit: dpm