Topeka: Rod Fuller preview

Rod Fuller on Topeka "This is a big race for our team. We need to go some rounds. The points are bunched up and we'd like to separate ourselves, but more importantly we want to put on a good show for our three CAT dealers. Topeka is the one...

Rod Fuller on Topeka

"This is a big race for our team. We need to go some rounds. The points are bunched up and we'd like to separate ourselves, but more importantly we want to put on a good show for our three CAT dealers. Topeka is the one track I've never won a round at in Top Fuel. I want to get that monkey off our back and turn things around at Heartland Park."

Rob Flynn (crew chief) on Topeka

"We're looking forward to representing the three CAT dealers, Martin, Foley and Warren, at Topeka. After the last event at Bristol (Tenn.), we feel we have a good race car. We want to get back on track of winning rounds."

Rod Fuller Topeka NHRA Notebook

Two weeks ago at Bristol Dragway, Fuller qualified his Caterpillar dragster ninth with a run of 4.584 seconds. He was defeated in the opening round by J.R. Todd when the Caterpillar dragster suffered a mechanical malfunction and slowed to a run of 4.635 seconds. It was Fuller's third opening-round loss of the season.

Fuller enters the ninth race on the 24-race schedule ranked fourth in the Top Fuel standings. Fuller's teammate, Antron Brown, ranks second. Fuller won his seventh career Top Fuel race when he won at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis in early May.

Heartland Park Topeka remains the only track on tour where Fuller has yet to advance passed the first round of eliminations. In three tries at the Topeka track, Fuller has lost to perennial title contender Doug Kalitta in the opening round twice. Last season, Fuller qualified fourth, 4.566 at 324.51, and lost a close match to Kalitta in round one, 4.549 to 4.581.

Fuller has qualified for 69 consecutive NHRA Top Fuel events. The last time he failed to make the cut was at the Houston race in 1996 when he was driving the Montana Express dragster on a part time schedule. Fuller has the second longest qualifying streak in Top Fuel (Tony Schumacher) and has an average starting position of 8.7 in three races at Heartland Park.

Fuller has 13 career NHRA sportsmen victories in the Super Comp (seven) and Super Gas (six) categories. He is a three-time sportsmen winner at Heartland Park. He won Super Gas in 1998 and '99, and Super Comp in 2004. Fuller's father, Bob, and brother, Tony, also will be competing at the Topeka race in the sportsmen categories.

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Rod Fuller , J.R. Todd