FULLER POSTS RUNNER-UP FINISH AT AUTO CLUB FINALS, FINISHES 2008 SEASON SIXTH IN NHRA STANDINGS POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Hastings Deering/WesTrac dragster to a runner-up finish Sunday evening...
FULLER POSTS RUNNER-UP FINISH AT AUTO CLUB FINALS, FINISHES 2008 SEASON SIXTH IN NHRA STANDINGS
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Hastings Deering/WesTrac dragster to a runner-up finish Sunday evening at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The seven-time Top Fuel winner finished sixth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings.
After qualifying for his 85th consecutive race with an elapsed time of 3.862-seconds on Saturday afternoon at the historic Pomona track, Fuller outpaced former NHRA Top Alcohol dragster champion Steve Torrence, edged six-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, and outran European champion Ers Erbacher, before losing a narrow match with two-time series champion Larry Dixon in the final round, the second straight for Fuller.
Fuller and Torrence were the first pair of drivers to do battle on Sunday morning at the 2008 NHRA season-finale. Torrence got the slight jump out of the gate, but Fuller used a tune-up from crew chief Rob Flynn to post the second quickest lap of the round to score the win. Fuller's Hastings Deering/WesTrac dragster cruised to a run of 3.838 seconds at 314.83 mph to advance to the quarterfinals and an 11th match-up with the 2008 Top Fuel champion this season.
Squaring off against the winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history (56 wins), Fuller got the slight jump at the start and scored the narrow holeshot victory to advance to the semifinals for the sixth time this season. Fuller raced the Caterpillar car to a lap of 3.862 at 313.66 to hold off the hard-charging U.S. Army dragster, which clocked a run of 3.853 at 315.56. It was Fuller's first holeshot win of the season and sixth of his career. Fuller finished the 2008 season 3-8 versus the Alan Johnson-tuned dragster.
Fuller advanced to his second consecutive final round by knocking off the European champion in the semifinals. Erbacher's orange rail got the jump at the start, but Fuller used Flynn horsepower to drive around and score the win. The Caterpillar car posted a performance of 3.851 at 312.64 to earn lane choice in the final round. Erbacher clocked a lap of 3.991 at 282.36 after advancing to his first career NHRA semifinal round. It was Fuller's 29th round win of the season.
Competing in his 18th career Top Fuel final round and fourth of the season, Fuller posted a solid lap of 3.839 at 310.48, but came up just short to Dixon, who clocked a run of 3.833 at 300.03. It was Dixon's second win of the season and 44th of his career. Fuller ended the season with a record of 29-23, with a win at the St. Louis race in May. He posted three runner-up finishes and earned the pole at the Norwalk, Ohio race in June. Fuller finished sixth in the Countdown to 1 standings and teammate Antron Brown, in his first season in Top Fuel, finished fifth.
"It was a great day," Fuller said. "We beat the Army car in the final race with Alan (Johnson) and Tony (Schumacher). Beating those guys with the season they had was like winning a race. It was a good ending to the season and I'm even hungrier for the 2009 season to begin. I wish we could race again tomorrow.That was a great race. Larry (Dixon) is the best driver out there and if we were still racing a quarter mile, we'd have won.
"I really want to thank Lee Beard and Rob Flynn for giving us a great car. This is Rob's last race with the team and he was an awesome crew chief and person the last three years. I wish him the best of luck next season, but I know our two David Powers cars are going to be tough to beat."