Sonoma: Powers Motorsports preview

"Hot Rod" Back In Action At Sonoma Powers Motorsports Fueler Returns With New Crew Chief HOUSTON, TX 7/21/05 Former sportsman champion "Hot Rod" Fuller will once again make his presence felt on the NHRA POWERade Series trail when ...

"Hot Rod" Back In Action At Sonoma
Powers Motorsports Fueler Returns With New Crew Chief

HOUSTON, TX 7/21/05 Former sportsman champion "Hot Rod" Fuller will once again make his presence felt on the NHRA POWERade Series trail when the David Powers Motorsports Top Fuel dragster returns to action at the Fram Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA on the weekend of July 29-31.

"This is going to be a big deal for us," Fuller admitted. "We haven't raced since the Sears Craftsman Nationals at the end of June, and adding even more pressure for us is the fact that this race will be the first time we've competed with our new crew chief, Lee Beard.

"Right from the outset David (Powers) had determined that we wouldn't run the full schedule this year, but we've done pretty well for ourselves, and everyone on the team believes that the addition of Beard to the operation is a very positive move. I read Lee's bio, and I know he's won 52 national events as a crew chief, and I'm hoping that we can score Number 53 for him, and Number 1 for David and I, at Sonoma. That would really be something, wouldn't it?"

The Powers Motorsports entry has competed in eight of the 13 NHRA POWERade Series races thus far contested, qualifying at each outing, including in the sport's quickest-ever Top Fuel field at the Winternationals. They've also qualified in the top half of the field in five of eight outings. More importantly, they've already advanced to the final round twice, earning runner-up honors at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN in May and the Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, IL in June. The latter boosted Fuller into the prestigious Top 10 points standings, but he's since slipped backwards after having missed several events.

As team owner Powers noted, "We have a brand new team here, but I couldn't be happier about the way things are going. 'Hot Rod's' done a fine job behind the wheel, and all of the guys have really been pulling together. The addition of Lee Beard to our operation is, I believe, going to be critical to our future successes. He knows how to win races and, in fact, already won twice this year as a tuner, and we're confident he can continue on that roll with our Top Fuel operation

"I'll admit it. I'm kind of excited about the race in Sonoma. It's our first outing in well over a month, but I'm still confident we'll play a role in the outcome of the race."

Beard acknowledges that the Fram Autolite Nationals is going to be a tough proving ground for his first outing as a Top Fuel crew chief in some years. "This team has all the ingredients to get to the top," he said from the team's shop in Houston as the car was getting its final preparation before heading west. "David (Powers) has put together a good group of hard-working guys, and 'Hot Rod' (Fuller) is driving like a seasoned veteran, not someone who's really in the middle of what amounts to his first real season in Top Fuel.

"I haven't handled a Top Fuel car in a few years, but the basic setup remains the same between a dragster and a Funny Car. The key for us is going to be in making all the right calls, from qualifying through eliminations. I expect the weather to be hot at Sonoma, and I love hot weather tracks."

Powers added, "We set goals for ourselves at the beginning of the season. The first was to qualify at every race, and we've done that so far. The second was to win rounds, and we've also done that in getting to two final rounds already. The next goal is winning a race, and I hope we can reach that one at Infineon Raceway."

-pm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Powers