FULLER BLASTS TO CAREER-BEST PERFORMANCE FRIDAY AT PHOENIX; SITS SECOND IN TOP FUEL ORDER
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 9, 2007) -- Rod Fuller might not be the biggest name in Top Fuel racing, but if his Rob Flynn-tuned Valvoline rail continues to amass 4.4-second elapsed times, the Las Vegas racer will soon become a household name to racing fans across the land. The third-year Top Fuel pro drove to the quickest and fastest pass of his career Friday to position his David Powers-owned rail second in the 16-car order at the 23rd annual CSK Nationals near Phoenix.
The defending event champion of the Phoenix race -- Fuller defeated Melanie Troxel in the final round last February -- opened qualifying at the second event on the 2007 NHRA schedule by blistering the right lane at Firebird International Raceway in 4.471 seconds at 331.61 mph. Fuller led the Top Fuel division after the first of four qualifying laps. Fuller's previous career-best performances were 4.482 seconds (Pomona 1, 2007) and 330.96 mph (Joliet, 2006). On Friday's second attempt, Fuller's Valvoline dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 9.928-seconds. He sits second in the Top Fuel order. Three drivers clocked 4.4-second elapsed times on Friday, Tony Schumacher, Fuller and Troxel.
"We came in really confident," Fuller said. "Our team is building on our momentum at Pomona, and we ran 4.49 here in testing last month. Rob Flynn said it was going to go fast and as soon as hit the throttle the car snapped. It accelerated quicker than I've ever felt. I told the guys on TV that the run felt slow. It was so smooth and perfect; it felt like it was in slow motion. It was awesome. It's about a ride like that that makes me want to drive one these cars.
"The goal on Saturday is to try another 4.47 or maybe a 4.46. We want to get consistent for race day. I'd rather be more consistent, than a car that can run low E.T. but be on the edge of smoking the tires on race day."
Fuller looks to better his 4.47-second pass when Top Fuel qualifying continues on Saturday afternoon with sessions scheduled for 12:30 and 3 p.m. (MT) at the Phoenix-area track. Fuller qualified fourth at F.I.R. last year at 4.505-seconds.