Fuller Wins Mid-South Nats! First Pro Win For Former Sportsman Champ! MEMPHIS, TN 8/21/05 Thirteen-time NHRA sportsman national event winner "Hot Rod" Fuller drove the Valvoline/David Powers Homes Top Fuel dragster to his...
Fuller Wins Mid-South Nats!
First Pro Win For Former Sportsman Champ!
MEMPHIS, TN 8/21/05 Thirteen-time NHRA sportsman national event winner "Hot Rod" Fuller drove the Valvoline/David Powers Homes Top Fuel dragster to his first professional victory this evening with an impressive win at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee. It was not only Fuller's first Top Fuel victory, but the first win for the David Powers Motorsports team.
Fuller and new crew chief Lee Beard, along with tuning assistant Rob Flynn, the new braintrust for Powers Motorsports, had nothing short of an awesome outing in Memphis, prompting Fuller to ask, "Can we run the rest of the races in Tennessee?" Earlier this season Fuller made his first professional final round appearance at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, at the opposite end of the state.
After qualifying a career high third with an elapsed time of 4.625 seconds Fuller proved he's earned the nickname "Hot Rod" by leaving on all four of his opponents during eliminations, including two-time POWERade champion Tony Schumacher, who he defeated in the finale.
Team owner Powers termed Fuller's performance in eliminations "Impressive. 'Hot Rod' was on top of his game tonight, and so was everyone else on the team.
"I can't say enough about how impressed I am with the way Lee Beard, Rob Flynn and everyone else just seemed to jell perfectly. I thought we might have some 'teething problems,' because Rob just joined the team earlier this week, and Lee's only other race with us was in Sonoma, a few weeks back, but everything was just perfect."
Fuller was almost speechless following the finale, calling the win "Awesome! We made two good runs in qualifying, thanks to Lee, and that gave us a lot of confidence coming into eliminations.
"To run quicker than our qualifying time in the final round is a real tribute to this team. I honestly never expected anything like that. I just don't know what else to say."
Fuller drove the Valvoline/David Powers Homes to a winning 4.612 second elapsed time with a 302.21 mile per hour speed, slower than the car's best, a 311.20 MPH run that came on the fourth and final qualifying attempt. He also edged closer to the NHRA POWERade Top 10 by moving from 13th to 11th in the standings.
Triple digit temperatures and high humidity made for an extremely tricky racing surface, but Beard and Fuller mastered it, four straight times. They had two exceptionally good races in the second and semifinal rounds, with somewhat easier wins in the first and last rounds. Schumacher smoked the tires in the finale, but even had he put down a competitive elapsed time, Fuller's superior Reaction Time of .056 to .074 seconds would have taken the race.
"This gives us tremendous momentum going into Indy," added Powers. "This was a very important win for us, believe me. But the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is the biggest drag race of the year, and maybe, just maybe, we'll play a role in the outcome. This was a hot, humid race, and Indy could be the same way.
"Regardless, that's a couple of weeks from now. For right now we're going to celebrate our team's first Top Fuel win!"
Powers also announced that the team will participate an every remaining race on the NHRA POWERade Series tour. "Our goal is to finish in the Top 10," he said. "This will give us the chance to achieve that goal."