Pomona II: Rod Fuller preview

Fuller Eyes Strong Finish to 2006 NHRA Season POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2006) -- Entering the final event of the 2006 NHRA season, three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner "Hot" Rod Fuller doesn't need any Lombardi-esque words of inspiration or a "win one...

Fuller Eyes Strong Finish to 2006 NHRA Season

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2006) -- Entering the final event of the 2006 NHRA season, three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner "Hot" Rod Fuller doesn't need any Lombardi-esque words of inspiration or a "win one for the Gipper" motivational speech. The talented quarter mile pilot has plenty of goals to accomplish at the final event of his first full season as a professional Top Fuel driver.

"There's nothing like winning Pomona (Calif.) before you go home for the winter," Fuller said. "My dad (Bob) always told me to go into Pomona and win that thing because everyone always remembers that race. Sometimes you only have a few days to celebrate after you win, but you can build off of winning the Finals, and you go into the next season on a winning streak. It adds a little extra incentive for this weekend's race."

The longtime Valvoline driver looks to race his David Powers-owned dragster to a third victory this season when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series completes the 2006 season, Nov. 9-12, at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California Finals. Three years ago, Fuller raced his Valvoline-backed machine to the Super Gas title at the Finals. This year, the rising Top Fuel star is looking for a sixth final-round birth of the season, along with a fourth place finish in NHRA drag racing's elite category. Fuller enters the season-finale just 45 points behind fourth place driver Melanie Troxel.

"Fourth is better than fifth," Fuller said. "With the competition in this category it's really tough, so to finish fourth in our first full season in Top Fuel would be quite an accomplishment."

Coming into the 2006 NHRA season, Fuller had just 24 events in Top Fuel competition under his belt. Having notched 14 victories in four different divisions (Top Fuel, Stock, Super Comp and Super Gas), Fuller had proven his worth against the best drivers in NHRA's sportsmen ranks. Now, after completing 22 races and capturing two more victories along with five final round appearances, two No. 1 qualifying awards, one low elapsed time of the meet, and two top speed of the meet, the Las Vegas resident has shown he deserves to be competing against NHRA's best.

"I just want to keep the level that I have going and not back down," Fuller said. "I feel like I'm representing all the drivers in the sportsmen ranks and that means something to me. And, I have a great team behind me and that gives a driver a lot of confidence to go out and do well."

Two weeks ago at Las Vegas, Fuller did quite well racing to a semifinal finish with two holeshot wins to his credit. With his veteran driving prowess and the confidence in his Lee Beard-tuned dragster, the Valvoline team is poised for a strong finish to the '06 season, which will show they're a force to contend with next season and beyond.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , David Powers , Rod Fuller