Pomona II: Rod Fuller Saturday notes

FULLER DRIVES CATERPILLAR DRAGSTER TO NO. 11 SPOT AT POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2007) -- Backed into a corner with just two qualifying attempts left to make the cut for the 43rd annual Auto Club Finals, Rod Fuller and his David Powers-owned...

FULLER DRIVES CATERPILLAR DRAGSTER TO NO. 11 SPOT AT POMONA

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2007) -- Backed into a corner with just two qualifying attempts left to make the cut for the 43rd annual Auto Club Finals, Rod Fuller and his David Powers-owned Caterpillar Top Fuel team responded like true champions. The six-time NHRA Top Fuel winner drove his CAT-backed dragster to the No. 11 qualifying position Saturday afternoon at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Entering the final day of qualifying for the 2007 NHRA season-finale in the No. 18 qualifying position, the POWERade points leader used a tune-up from crew chief Rob Flynn to drive the Caterpillar car to a performance of 4.567 seconds at 325.85 mph to jump the No. 9 spot in the field and solidify a place in the grid. Fuller posted his quickest pass of the weekend on his final attempt by using Flynn's "Canadian Horsepower" to blister the Auto Club Raceway quarter mile in 4.549 at 324.83 to finish 11th in the 16-car order. It is only the second time this season that Fuller has qualified in the bottom half of the field (Seattle). After qualifying, he leads Larry Dixon by 52 points, Brandon Bernstein by 57 points and Tony Schumacher by 61 points.

"The final run was the best conditions of the weekend, so I knew there would be lots of movement," Fuller said. "With only one good run, Rob (Flynn) wanted to make another solid lap, for the baseline rather than stand on it. The track is great here. There's no difference between lanes. It will be hotter tomorrow and our car does well in these conditions.

"I was definitely relieved after that first run. So many people were asking about not being in and all the fans seemed really worried. It actually made me nervous. It really felt like we had won the race just by qualifying. That might have been our biggest run of the year. I have tons of confidence in my team. I really felt we'd come out and make two good runs today and we did."

Fuller will face off against No. 6 qualifier Bob Vandergriff, Jr. when final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. (PT) on Sunday. He is 2-3 in five matches against Vandergriff this season.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Bob Vandergriff , David Powers , Rod Fuller