FULLER FALLS EARLY IN CATERPILLAR CAR AT TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Rod Fuller has made his mark at Heartland Park Topeka with three career NHRA national event wins, but for some reason, the Kansas track remains a Top Fuel nemesis...
FULLER FALLS EARLY IN CATERPILLAR CAR AT TOPEKA
TOPEKA, Kan. (June 1, 2008) -- Rod Fuller has made his mark at Heartland Park Topeka with three career NHRA national event wins, but for some reason, the Kansas track remains a Top Fuel nemesis of the Caterpillar racer. Fuller's David Powers-owned Caterpillar dragster was defeated in the opening round of eliminations Sunday morning at Heartland Park Topeka.
After qualifying in the No. 3 position for the third time this season with a 4.565-second elapsed time on Friday evening at Heartland Park, Fuller was paired against Morgan Lucas in the opening round. The seven-time Top Fuller winner got the jump at the start with a great .051 of-a-second reaction time in the Martin/Warren/Foley CAT dragster and raced to a pass of 4.856 seconds at 261.98. The Caterpillar/Valvoline rail dropped a cylinder at the start of the race causing the elapsed time to fall off; that allowed Lucas to win the round with a run of 4.749 at 305.98. Fuller, a three-time winner in the Super Comp and Super Gas categories at the Topeka race, has yet to win a round of Top Fuel competition in four tries at Heartland Park. It remains the only track where he has not won a round of racing. Fuller has a round record of 10-8 this season and has 96 career round wins. He made his 70th consecutive Top Fuel start this weekend, the second longest qualifying streak in Top Fuel (Tony Schumacher).
"It was a tough weekend," Fuller said. "I did well at this place in sportsmen, but for some reason haven't found the right ingredient to win in Top Fuel. It's a long season and we're not down. We're going to Chicago, a place we've done fairly well at, with our heads up. We're really excited about Chicago because I know we'll have the biggest cheering section with all the folks from Caterpillar rooting us on."
"The motor dropped the No. 1 cylinder, which is rare for us," crew chief Rob Flynn said. "Both of our David Powers cars were experimenting this weekend. With the new rules not allowing testing, we have to try things to keep up with our competitors. It was an inopportune time to drop a hole. We'll keep moving forward and go to Chicago and shake it off."