FULLER DOUBLES DOWN IN VEGAS, WINS $50,000 DOUBLE-UP BONUS With sixth career victory, Fuller now owns 52-point lead in Countdown to 1 LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2007) -- Rod Fuller is on top of the NHRA drag racing world after becoming just the...
FULLER DOUBLES DOWN IN VEGAS, WINS $50,000 DOUBLE-UP BONUS
With sixth career victory, Fuller now owns 52-point lead in Countdown to 1
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2007) -- Rod Fuller is on top of the NHRA drag racing world after becoming just the fourth Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win both the Technicoat Shootout and race during the same weekend. Fuller drove his David Powers-owned Caterpillar dragster to one of the richest weekend payouts Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the DPM team pocketed nearly $200,000 in two days.
One day after earning the lucrative $100,000 payday in the Technicoat Shootout, Fuller defeated Australian native David Grubnic, teammate David Baca, fan-favorite Morgan Lucas, and 30-time NHRA winner Doug Kalitta to earn his sixth career Top Fuel victory and third of the season.
The hometown hero was matched-up against Grubnic in the opening round of competition for the second consecutive day. The Technicoat Shootout winner used a solid .049 of-a-second reaction time and Rob Flynn's "Canadian Horsepower" to drive the Caterpillar car to the wire-to-wire victory. Fuller clocked low elapsed time of the round with a run of 4.510 seconds at 330.31 mph. Grubnic posted a lap of 4.552 seconds in his black dragster. It was Fuller's first 330-mph speed since the Englishtown, N.J. race in June.
In a quarterfinal match-up with his new teammate, the two DPM racers used nearly identical reaction times as Fuller again drove the CAT-backed rail to low elapsed time of the round. The Flynn-tuned car carded a pass of 4.557 at 327.90 to advance to the semifinals for the 14th time this season. Baca's Matco Tools rail slowed to a run of 9.615 seconds.
Fuller advanced to his sixth final round appearance of the season, a career-best, by defeating Lucas. Two of the better leavers in the category used nearly identical reaction times as Fuller sped to a pass of 4.636 at 284.93 to earn the win light in the left lane. The motor in the Caterpillar dragster broke a crankshaft on the pass causing the car to slow. Lucas' rail smoked the tires and recorded a pass of 5.540 seconds.
In his 14th career final round, Fuller and Kalitta used nearly identical reaction and both dragsters put on a terrific show for the capacity crowd at The Strip. Fuller used a Flynn tune-up to speed to a run of 4.531 at 327.83 to narrowly edge Kalitta's black dragster at the strip. Kalitta posted a lap of 4.537 at 331.36. Fuller is now 6-7 in his career against Kalitta. His third victory this season is a career-best.
"It's good to be home," Fuller joked. "I really couldn't enjoy last night. I was so focused on doing well today. I didn't want to get distracted on the big picture and that's this championship. $100,000 can go away quick, but a championship lasts forever. This was really an exhausting weekend. I saw the win light come on and it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. To win $200,000 is huge for our team. To win both races this weekend and go into Pomona (Calif.) with a 52-point lead makes me pretty emotional."