POINTS-LEADER FULLER SUFFERS RARE EARLY LOSS AT BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2007) -- Rod Fuller maintained his position atop the NHRA Top Fuel standings on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway despite falling in the opening round of...
POINTS-LEADER FULLER SUFFERS RARE EARLY LOSS AT BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2007) -- Rod Fuller maintained his position atop the NHRA Top Fuel standings on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway despite falling in the opening round of eliminations for just this fourth time this season. The David Powers Motorsports driver still holds at 93-point lead over Brandon Bernstein.
Fuller qualified seventh at the 26th annual Brainerd race with a run of 4.605-seconds on Saturday. It was only the second time this season he has qualified lower than fourth. In the opening round of eliminations, he was matched against six-time IHRA champion Clay Millican for the fourth time this season. Two of the better leavers in the Top Fuel division, they used nearly identical reaction times, but Fuller's all-white dragster dropped a cylinder and lost traction forcing the five-time winner to pedal. The Las Vegas racer slowed to a pass of 4.793 seconds at 322.65 mph, while Millican's rail sped to a solid run of 4.602 at 314.68. Fuller hadn't lost in the first round since the Topeka race on June 3. It was his 25th career opening-round defeat.
"I'm lucky," Fuller said. "I never cheer against anyone, but as a competitor, you want to go into the Countdown No. 1, so when (Tony) Schumacher went out, that made it more comfortable on us. We were excited our teammate won a round. It was just a tough weekend for us. We weren't qualified well. We really were in test-mode this weekend and we needed to do that to learn some stuff. You always need to try and stay ahead and learn new things. We don't have the luxury of testing like most teams. We don't hardly ever drop cylinders and it dropped a cylinder at the hit of the throttle and (Clay) Millican made a good solid run and it wasn't our day."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 23rd annual Toyo Tires Nationals, Aug. 16-19, at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa. It is the 17th of 23 races on the 2007 NHRA schedule and the final race in NHRA's Countdown to Eight.