HEALTHY FULLER TO BEGIN 2008 SEASON AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 23, 2008) -- Rod Fuller likes the desert, particularly the Southwest. Fuller, who resides in Las Vegas, is the two-time defending event champion of the Phoenix...
HEALTHY FULLER TO BEGIN 2008 SEASON AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 23, 2008) -- Rod Fuller likes the desert, particularly the Southwest. Fuller, who resides in Las Vegas, is the two-time defending event champion of the Phoenix race at Firebird International Raceway. That is where Fuller and his David Powers-owned Caterpillar team will launch their 2008 season during the National Time Trials at F.I.R.
Similar to spring training for Major League Baseball, Fuller and his Rob Flynn-led crew will assault the F.I.R. quarter mile for six days of preparation for the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, which begins at Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10, with the 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Part Winternationals. It will be the first time that Fuller will return to the seat of the Caterpillar rail since undergoing major reconstructive knee surgery on Nov. 9, 2007, just five days after the completion of the '07 NHRA season.
"My knee feels great," Fuller said. "I've had a pretty boring off season. I had a great visit to Caterpillar's corporate headquarters in Peoria (Ill.) in December and went home to Arkansas for Christmas, but otherwise I stayed at home and rehabbed my knee. It was a lot of intense training, but it really paid off."
The 2007 year was a banner season for the near fourth-year Top Fuel pro. The six-time NHRA winner earned a career-best three victories in six final-round appearances. He also drove the Flynn-tuned rail to four poles. Fuller's on-track highlight came during the fall Las Vegas race where the hometown hero trumped the field on consecutive days to win both the $100,000 Technicoat Shootout and ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals collecting nearly $200,000 on Oct. 27-28.
"Last year was an awesome season for our team," Fuller said. "We were very proud of what we accomplished and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't compete for the title again. I'm excited to get back in the car and get things going for 2008. We have two great teams here at David Powers (Motorsports) and with Lee (Beard) and Rob (Flynn) I think we'll run great all season long. I like the rule changes to the Countdown (to the Championship), hopefully we be there at the end again this season."
Flynn plans on opening the Phoenix test with a new Brad Hadman chassis featuring the current chassis updates that meet the 2008 NHRA requirements. The goal during the six-day outing is to learn the new car, adjust the tune-up to the new 90-percent nitromethane rule and a new group of clutch discs.
"We'll run the new-style car and find out what it likes," Flynn said. "Right now, it's an unknown. We also have to adjust to the changes with the nitro and a new batch of clutch discs. We pretty much have the same people, but a few guys have shifted around and they all need to get synchronized."