FULLER SUFFERS FIRST OPENING-ROUND SETBACK OF THE SEASON BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) -- Rod Fuller and the David Powers-owned Caterpillar/Mustang Cat team suffered a first-round defeat Sunday at Houston Raceway Park during the 20th annual ...
FULLER SUFFERS FIRST OPENING-ROUND SETBACK OF THE SEASON
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2007) -- Rod Fuller and the David Powers-owned Caterpillar/Mustang Cat team suffered a first-round defeat Sunday at Houston Raceway Park during the 20th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals. Despite the early setback, the four-time NHRA Top Fuel winner is still the NHRA Top Fuel points leader. It marks the first time Fuller has fell in the opening round in 10 races.
The popular young driver qualified his Caterpillar/Mustang Cat dragster in the No. 3 position with a 4.533-second elapsed time on Friday at the Houston track. Following a three-hour rain delay, the competition finally again roared to life at Houston Raceway Park around 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. A car had not gone down the track since Friday evening's second Top Fuel qualifying session after more than a day of rain in the area.
Facing a green race track, Fuller used a slight starting line advantage to score the early lead, but the Caterpillar/Mustang Cat dragster instantly overpowered the track and smoked the tires. Fuller coasted to a run of 12.287-seconds in his yellow and black rail, while Litton drove to a run of 4.703 seconds at 303.37 mph. It was Fuller's first opening round defeat since the Memphis, Tenn. event last August when his car was shut off at the starting line.
"Obviously I'm frustrated going out early," Fuller said. "We feel there was a malfunction, but we can't find it yet. I felt something funny when I hit the throttle. We're fortunate that a few cars also went out early. Sure I want to be in the points lead, but we want our teammate (Whit Bazemore) to do well and to have these two David Powers cars one-two in the standings. So, it's a catch 22.
"I'm excited about going home to Las Vegas in a few weeks. We did really well there last fall and that's a great race track. We might run a new race car and I have a lot of confidence with our team."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the eighth annual Summitracing.com Nationals, April 12-15, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fuller, a Las Vegas resident, qualified ninth at the spring Las Vegas event last April.