Gainesville: Rod Fuller Saturday notes

FULLER DRIVES CATERPILLAR DRAGSTER TO NO. 3 POSITION AT GAINESVILLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) -- Rod Fuller is back in a familiar position, near the top of the Top Fuel qualifying order. The six-time NHRA Top Fuel winner drove his...

FULLER DRIVES CATERPILLAR DRAGSTER TO NO. 3 POSITION AT GAINESVILLE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2008) -- Rod Fuller is back in a familiar position, near the top of the Top Fuel qualifying order. The six-time NHRA Top Fuel winner drove his David Powers-owned Caterpillar dragster to the No. 3 qualifying position Saturday at the 39th annual ACDelco Gatornationals with a time of 4.555 seconds.

After losing the opening day of qualifying for the second straight race due to rain showers, Fuller and his Rob Flynn-led crew had just two qualifying runs to make the 16-car field at the popular Florida event. There were 21 dragsters attempting to make the cut this weekend. Fuller drove the yellow-and-black Caterpillar-backed dragster to a pass of 4.720 seconds at 289.20 mph on Saturday's first qualifying attempt. The motor dropped a cylinder on the pass and Fuller was positioned eighth in the order. On his second and final run of the rain-shortened qualifying schedule, the Las Vegas racer blistered the Gainesville Raceway quarter mile in 4.555 at 326.71 to finish third in the order. Fuller and Australian driver David Grubnic clocked identical elapsed times and Grubnic was awarded the No. 3 spot as the result of a faster speed. It is Fuller's highest qualifying position of the season.

"It's our best qualifying position since last fall at Las Vegas and we did pretty good there," Fuller said. "These two-run sessions put a lot of pressure on us. We weren't shooting for low E.T., but we ran a nice mid-4.50. There's a lot left in the race car. That was a conservative tune-up. We needed to make sure we got down the track twice on Saturday. With both our David Powers cars running consistent, I think we have a good chance. I think both (teammate) Antron (Brown) and I will do well on Sunday."

Fuller will face off against European Top Fuel champion Urs Erbacher in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations at 11 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. The two have never met during eliminations. Fuller has a round record of 3-2 this season. The race will be Fuller's 151st career Top Fuel round.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Urs Erbacher , David Powers , Rod Fuller