"Hot" Rod Fuller Drives To Runner-up Finish In Budweiser Shootout at Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2006) -- Rising Top Fuel star "Hot" Rod Fuller nearly cashed in big Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the three-time NHRA Top...
"Hot" Rod Fuller Drives To Runner-up Finish In Budweiser Shootout at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 28, 2006) -- Rising Top Fuel star "Hot" Rod Fuller nearly cashed in big Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner drove his Valvoline dragster to a runner-up finish in the lucrative Budweiser Shootout at Las Vegas.
Fuller, who earned the third most qualifying points in the Budweiser Shootout standings during the 2006 season, was the No. 5 seed after Thursday's Budweiser Shootout Draw Party at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The three-time NHRA winner edged No. 4 seed David Grubnic in the opening round of the eight-car bonus event before out-dueling top seed Tony Schumacher in the semifinals of the special race-within-a-race. Fuller then fell to veteran Top Fuel pilot Doug Kalitta in the final round.
As the first pair of Top Fuel dragsters to battle the Las Vegas quarter mile on Saturday afternoon, Fuller used a starting line advantage to card the win over the popular Australian driver. Fuller powered his Lee Beard-tuned Valvoline dragster to a pass of 4.571 seconds at 326.48 mph to narrowly defeat Grubnic's pass of 4.570 seconds.
In the semifinal round of the Shootout, the Las Vegas resident used the best reaction time of the round (.041 of-a-second) to earn the wire-to-wire victory over the defending Budweiser Shootout winner and three-time NHRA champion. In a great drag race, Fuller blasted his David Powers-owned rail to the quickest run of the round, 4.518 at 326.95, to knock off Schumacher, who powered his black dragster to a run of 4.531 at 326.71.
Fuller then used the best reaction time of the Budweiser Shootout (.031 of-a-second) to get the jump on the notoriously quick Michigan racer in the final round. He blistered the LVMS quarter mile in 4.669 at 266.95, but near the 1,000-foot mark, the Valvoline dragster broke the blower belt allowing Kalitta to score the narrow victory and collect the $100,000 purse with a 4.567-second pass. It was Kalitta's third career Shootout victory.
Fuller and the Powers-owned Top Fuel team earned $15,000 for the runner-up effort. They will face Melanie Troxel in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations on Sunday morning at The Strip at LVMS. Fuller qualified 10th during the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals.