HOT ROD FULLER CARDS SEMIFINAL FINISH SUNDAY AT DENVER MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2010) - "Hot Rod" Fuller, a seven-time NHRA Top Fuel winner, powered his Abu Dhabi/Yas Marina Circuit dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Bandimere...
HOT ROD FULLER CARDS SEMIFINAL FINISH SUNDAY AT DENVER
MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2010) - "Hot Rod" Fuller, a seven-time NHRA Top Fuel winner, powered his Abu Dhabi/Yas Marina Circuit dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Bandimere Speedway near Denver. It was Fuller's best finish since the 2008 NHRA season.
A day after racing his Abu Dhabi/Yas Marina Circuit dragster to the No. 11 qualifying position at 4.113-seconds, Fuller defeated No. 6 qualifier Shawn Langdon and No. 3 qualifier David Grubnic, before falling to perennial title contender Doug Kalitta in the final round. Kalitta won the race Sunday at Denver.
Racing out of the bottom half of the field, Fuller used a stout .050 of-a-second reaction time and a Lee Beard tune-up of 3.981 seconds at 304.25 mph to score his first round win of the 2010 NHRA season. Fuller used a starting line advantage and led the entire race to hold off the hard-charging Langdon, who posted a run of 3.995 at 305.29.
Squaring off against the Australia native, Grubnic, Fuller used a slight jump at the start to race his Abu Dhabi/Yas Marina Circuit car to the semifinals. The 2007 Mile-High Nationals winner raced to a pass of 4.549 at 191.21 after his dragster lost traction and it was enough to edge Grubnic's lap of 4.630 at 220.58. It is the first time Fuller has advanced to the semifinals since the 2008 NHRA season (Pomona 2).
Competing in the semifinals for the first time since the season-finale at Pomona, Calif. in November 2008, Fuller narrowly missed a shot at racing for his second win on Thunder Mountain. Fuller and Kalitta used nearly identical reaction times as the Abu Dhabi/Yas Marina Circuit car powered to a run of 4.007 at 302.82 after dropping a cylinder on the run. Kalitta's bright red rail scored the win with a quicker pass of 3.967 at 306.40 to advance to his second straight final round at Denver.
"It's kind of bittersweet to get that far and not win; I really thought it was our day," Fuller said. "I felt really rusty last week at Sonoma (Calif.) and I felt much better in the car here this weekend. It's hard to just jump back into a car and be competitive. I feel like I've been sitting behind a desk and getting fat and lazy.
"I really want to thank all the fans for the great support at the last two races. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to drive this race car. There are plenty of great drivers on the sidelines looking for rides, so I feel lucky. We've got two more races left (Indianapolis and Charlotte 2) and we have nothing to lose. These other guys will be fighting for the championship and we can play the spoiler. I really believe we have a top five car that can win races."