Norwalk: Rod Fuller final report

FULLER RACES OHIO CAT RAIL TO SEMIFINALS AT NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Ohio CAT dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Fuller and...

FULLER RACES OHIO CAT RAIL TO SEMIFINALS AT NORWALK

NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- Hot Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Ohio CAT dragster to a semifinal finish Sunday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Fuller and the Caterpillar Top Fuel team continue to charge towards a top three ranking in the NHRA Top Fuel standings.

One day after earning his seventh career pole with a pass of 4.629-seconds on Saturday afternoon at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, Fuller edged veteran racer Doug Kalitta, and rival and 46-time Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher, before losing to North Carolina racer Doug Herbert in the semifinals. Fuller has a round record of 17-11 in 28 elimination rounds this season. He ranks fourth and trails third place driver Larry Dixon by 45 points in the standings.

Facing off against the 30-time Top Fuel winner for the third time this season, Fuller scored the narrow win in the Ohio CAT car. Kalitta used a stout .033 of-a-second reaction time, but Fuller used Rob Flynn horsepower to cruise the Caterpillar/Valvoline car to a run of 4.648 seconds at 303.57 mph to advance to the quarterfinals. Kalitta's red dragster clocked a run of 4.731 at 301.47.

Matched-up against his rival and the U.S. Army team for the fourth time this season, two of the elite drivers in NHRA racing used nearly identical reaction times as Fuller blasted the Ohio CAT/FSM rail to the quickest pass of the round, 4.541 at 320.43, to score the narrow win over the five-time NHRA champion. The Alan Johnson-tuned rail trailed slightly with a run of 4.574 at 307.09. Fuller now has a 2-2 mark versus Schumacher this season.

Following a heavy afternoon rain shower, Fuller was paired against Herbert for the third time this season. Herbert got the jump at the start and the Ohio CAT-backed rail shook the tires causing Fuller to pedal to a run of 4.885 at 304.53. Herbert made a solid lap of 4.668 at 300.73 to score the trip to the final round. Fuller is now 11-4 in his career against Herbert.

"Today hurt a little bit," Fuller said. "When you get to the semis you usually feel pretty good, but we really wanted to win this one. To beat (Tony) Schumacher, you'd like to really win the race. On paper we should have won, but like that old adage says, that's why you run the race.

"The positives are that we keep going rounds, we got our first pole of the year and we're closing in on second and third place in the standings. We're going to Denver in a few weeks and that's a race we won last year. The consistency of the CAT car has been great and we want to keep gaining points because we want to be second or third heading into the Countdown (to the Championship)."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Rod Fuller