"Hot" Rod Fuller races to quarterfinal finish at Pomona Finals; Finishes fifth in POWERade Top Fuel standings POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12, 2006) -- Three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner "Hot" Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Top Fuel dragster to a...
"Hot" Rod Fuller races to quarterfinal finish at Pomona Finals; Finishes fifth in POWERade Top Fuel standings
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12, 2006) -- Three-time NHRA Top Fuel winner "Hot" Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Top Fuel dragster to a quarterfinal finish Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to conclude the 2006 NHRA season. In his first full season in NHRA competition, the 16-time (13 sportsmen/3 Top Fuel) NHRA winner drove to a fifth-place ranking in the NHRA Top Fuel standings with two victories and five-final round appearances to his credit.
After qualifying in the top half of the 16-car field for the 19th time this season with a 4.509-second blast placing him seventh in the Top Fuel order, Fuller defeated veteran rail driver Doug Herbert before falling to three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the second round of eliminations.
In the opening round, the Las Vegas resident used a solid .072 of-a-second reaction time to card the wire-to-wire victory over Herbert. Fuller drove his Lee Beard-tuned rail to a pass of 4.544 seconds at 327.35 mph to speed to the round win, while Herbert's red dragster lost traction early and slowed to a 10.318-second pass. It was Fuller's fifth victory over the North Carolina-based racer this year
The two seasoned drivers left with nearly identical reaction times, but the Valvoline rail broke a rocker arm and slowed to a run of 4.953 seconds at just 210.80 mph, while the black Alan Johnson-tuned dragster sped to a run of 4.475-seconds to earn the trip to the semifinals. It was Fuller sixth quarterfinal finish this season. He compiled a 31-21 round record in 52 rounds of competition during the 2006 NHRA season.
"I thought we really had a shot," Fuller said. "I really get up to race Tony (Schumacher). How can you not? He's a three-time champion and we've had some epic battles. It just wasn't to be today.
"My rookie season is over, my first full season in Top Fuel is over and we have much to look forward too next year. Our goal was to finish in the top five and we accomplished that. I feel really awesome about our season. I'm ready to start '07 right now. My goal is to come back even stronger and better next year."
Fuller will return to his Las Vegas home to train for the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series campaign, while the David Powers Motorsports Top Fuel team will head back to its Pittsboro, Ind. race shop during the off season. The 2007 NHRA season-opener is Feb. 8-11, 2007, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Fuller will be joined by veteran Funny Car pilot Whit Bazemore in the David Powers Motorsports camp in '07. Bazemore makes the move to Top Fuel and will drive the Matco Tools dragster next year.