'Hot Rod' slowly winning battle against Denver heat Denver (July 15) -- The hottest day in Denver history ended with Top Fuel championship contender Rod Fuller in the top half of the field for this weekend's 27th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals...
'Hot Rod' slowly winning battle against Denver heat
Denver (July 15) -- The hottest day in Denver history ended with Top Fuel championship contender Rod Fuller in the top half of the field for this weekend's 27th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Fuller and crew chief Lee Beard, along with everybody else, fought exceedingly tough track conditions to set the elimination field under Saturday's record 103-degree heat.
"Just getting this Valvoline/David Powers Homes dragster down the track should earn us a trophy," Fuller said. "It's miserable as a driver to sit there in a seven-layer firesuit but I wouldn't want to change places with Lee for anything. These are by far the toughest tuning conditions we've faced."
Noted for his work under tricky conditions, Beard managed to tune Fuller to a best run of 4.673 at 316 mph in the first run of the weekend Friday and that time held, placing him eighth overall on the ladder. He'll open race day against David Baca, who qualified ninth with a 4.703 at 308 mph.
"Denver is a very tough track under the best of circumstances because of the altitude," said Beard, who grew up in Pueblo, Colo. "We don't race anywhere that's a mile high besides Denver so everyone's tuning book is a little thinner in this area. You have to find creative ways to manufacture horsepower.
"This weekend we get here and they're having the heat wave to end all heat waves so it's been very challenging to say the least. The good news is that everybody runs down the same hot racetrack so the playing field is actually very level. It might not be pretty, but we plan on running for the trophy tomorrow."
A two-time winner this season with victories in Phoenix and Englishtown, Fuller is fourth in the 2006 title chase.
The Mile-High Nationals will be shown on ESPN2 beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Check your local listing for exact times in your area.