Sonoma: Rod Fuller preview

FULLER READY FOR 2010 NHRA DEBUT AT SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - "Hot Rod" Fuller, a seven-time NHRA Top Fuel winner, returns to NHRA competition this weekend at Infineon Raceway and it's a reunion of sorts for the versatile ...

FULLER READY FOR 2010 NHRA DEBUT AT SONOMA

SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - "Hot Rod" Fuller, a seven-time NHRA Top Fuel winner, returns to NHRA competition this weekend at Infineon Raceway and it's a reunion of sorts for the versatile straight-line racer. It was five years ago at the Sonoma race that Fuller teamed with veteran crew chief Lee Beard to form a championship-contending duo in the Top Fuel ranks.

Fuller, 39, makes his 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series debut at the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals after competing in a handful of events last season. Behind the wheel of the Abu Dhabi-based Yas Marina Circuit Top Fuel dragster, Fuller looks to again put his name in the mix as one of the elite racers in NHRA Top Fuel competition.

"If I had to pick a race to come back at, this race at Sonoma would be at the top of my list," Fuller said. "I love this part of the country and this event. The staff at Infineon (Raceway) is great and it's an awesome track. I've never won here, but have had a lot of success at Sonoma and it's the perfect event to showcase Abu Dhabi to the NHRA fans."

The Sonoma event is the first of four on the 2010 schedule for Fuller who will return to the UAE's capital city as the lead instructor of the Yas Drag Centre's racing school. Fuller, who has 13 wins in NHRA's Super Comp and Gas categories, will share his driving expertise with locals who have a passion for speed. Before that, the University of Arkansas graduate has a short-term goal of race wins and strong performances on the NHRA circuit. Fuller's last NHRA event was the Charlotte race at zMax Dragway at Concord last September.

"It's almost been a year and it makes me a little nervous because there are so many great teams and drivers out there," Fuller said. "I'm going back into the game against the best nitro racers in the world and I tell the Yas Marina (Circuit) folks it's no different than jumping into an F-1 race in the middle of the season without any testing or competition, but with Lee (Beard) and the DSR-managed team I have a lot of confidence and I'm very comfortable that we can hit the ground running strong."

Fuller, who hasn't competed in his Top Fuel dragster since the inaugural Yas Drag Festival in March, won in just his second start with Beard calling the shots on his Valvoline dragster in 2005 when he edged seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the final round at Memphis Motorsports Park. From that day forward, they formed a formidable tandem in NHRA's elite division, Top Fuel.

"Lee helped mold me as a driver and taught me a lot about both being a driver and being professional off the track," Fuller said. "He's a great asset for me. He knows my mannerisms, but having him in our corner, things have been very smooth. I'm excited to get going. I don't see why we can't be competitive from the start."

Fuller and veteran nitro pilot Tommy Johnson, Jr. first competed in the Yas Marina Circuit Top Fuel dragsters during the inaugural Yas Drag Festival. The popular NHRA drivers made six exhibition laps during the three-day drag racing event at Yas Drag Centre in March. The partnership between DSR and ADMM was announced on January 16, 2010.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Tommy Johnson , Rod Fuller