Sonoma: Rod Fuller final report

POINTS-LEADER FULLER DRIVES TO ANOTHER SEMIFINAL FINISH SONOMA, Calif. (July 29, 2007) -- Rod Fuller drove his David Powers-owned Peterson CAT dragster to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive race Sunday at Infineon Raceway. The five-time...

POINTS-LEADER FULLER DRIVES TO ANOTHER SEMIFINAL FINISH

SONOMA, Calif. (July 29, 2007) -- Rod Fuller drove his David Powers-owned Peterson CAT dragster to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive race Sunday at Infineon Raceway. The five-time Top Fuel winner continues to lead the Top Fuel standings with just two races remaining before the Countdown to the Championship.

After qualifying third for the fourth time this season with a 4.562-second pass on Saturday, Fuller knocked off David Grubnic and perennial title-contender Doug Kalitta, before losing a semifinal match against Bob Vandergriff, Jr.

Squaring off against the Australian native for the 11th time in his career, the speedy racers used identical reaction times at the start as Fuller blasted the Peterson CAT dragster to the second quickest run of the round. He clocked a performance of 4.553 seconds at 325.92 mph in the Rob Flynn-tuned rail. Grubnic's dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.188-seconds.

Meeting for the 12th time and fifth this season, the quick-leaver from Michigan used a slight jump at the start, but the Peterson CAT rail had too much of Flynn's "Canadian Horsepower." Fuller raced to the second quickest pass of the round, 4.600 at 325.53, to hold off Kalitta's hard-charging run of 4.654 at 320.43. Fuller is nows-2 against 29-time NHRA winner this season.

Facing Vandergriff for the third time in the semifinals this season, the Top Fuelers used nearly identical reaction times before the Peterson CAT car spun the tires forcing Fuller to pedal the throttle. That slowed the David Powers-owned rail to a run of 4.921 at 317.94. Vandergriff charged his UPS-backed car to a run of 4.626 at 319.37 to advance to his third final round of the season. It marked that 11th time in 15 races this season that Fuller advanced to at least the semifinals. Fuller concluded the grueling six-race swing with a 14-5 round mark.

"I'm down because I knew we had the better race car," Fuller said. "We're doing great, but we can't let these ones get away. As far as what we did in six races without proper funding and a short crew is pretty special. The best thing we can take away is that we built on our points lead on this swing. Now, we need to go into Brainerd and keep out points lead. We want to go into Indy on top. Both our team and I need a rest. We're excited for some time off."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Bob Vandergriff , David Powers , Rod Fuller