FULLER DRIVES TO SEMIS AT PHOENIX, SITS THIRD IN TOP FUEL STANDINGS POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2007) -- Last season, Rod Fuller drove his David Powers-owned Valvoline dragster to a fifth place finish. Well, if the start of the '07 season is any ...
FULLER DRIVES TO SEMIS AT PHOENIX, SITS THIRD IN TOP FUEL STANDINGS
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2007) -- Last season, Rod Fuller drove his David Powers-owned Valvoline dragster to a fifth place finish. Well, if the start of the '07 season is any indication, the rest of the Top Fuel contingent better watch out for the red, white and blue dragster. The three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner opened the 2007 NHRA season by racing to a semifinal finish at the 47th annual Winternationals and leaves the first race of the season positioned in third place in the Top Fuel standings.
The Las Vegas resident drove his Rob Flynn-tuned dragster to the No. 2 qualifying position with a stout 4.481-second pass. That matched Fuller with longtime racer Doug Herbert in the opening round. The Valvoline dragster had a soft tune-up and Fuller had to pedal the throttle, while Herbert's red and green dragster suffered a mechanical problem and slowed to a run of 6.453. Fuller sped to a performance of 4.807 seconds at 323.04 mph to earn the trip to round two. It was his slowest run of the weekend.
"The car was weak and shook," Fuller said. "I pedaled it and it was like that old adage, it ain't over til it's over. He was ahead of me and we got the win light."
In round two, the Las Vegas resident matched up against teammate Whit Bazemore. It marks the first time they have met during eliminations. In a great drag race, Fuller scored a narrow victory over the Matco Tools racer. Fuller powered to a run of 4.557 to Bazemore's pass of 4.561. With the win, it is the first time that Fuller has advanced passed the second round of eliminations at the historic Pomona drag strip.
"That was great for our team to have two good cars race side-by-side," Fuller said. "It was an awesome race and great to see a David Powers car in the semis."
Facing one of the hottest teams in the sport, Fuller/Flynn and the Valvoline put on another great show. The longtime NHRA sportsmen driver raced to a blistering run of 4.515 at 325.32, but Bernstein was slightly quicker at 4.496 seconds to score the trip to the final round.
"We have nothing to hang our heads on," Fuller said. "We made great runs all weekend. We didn't make a mistake, they just ran better. Hats off to Brandon (Bernstein) and the Bud team. We're number three in the points and we're going to a track where we won last year. I'm excited."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 23rd annual CSK Nationals, Feb. 23-25, at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Last February, Fuller defeated Melanie Troxel in the final round of the CSK Nationals to collect his second career NHRA Top Fuel victory.