Seattle: Rod Fuller Friday summary

Fuller on top in Seattle SEATTLE (July 21) -- Top Fuel driver "Hot Rod" Fuller has the quickest car through the first day of professional qualifying for the 19th annual Schuck's NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Fuller recorded a ...

Fuller on top in Seattle

SEATTLE (July 21) -- Top Fuel driver "Hot Rod" Fuller has the quickest car through the first day of professional qualifying for the 19th annual Schuck's NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Fuller recorded a stout 4.578-second, 322.19-mph pass in his Valvoline/David Powers Homes dragster Friday evening to easily pace the field.

With the exception of No. 2 qualifier Brandon Bernstein, who posted a 4.599-second run, Fuller's pass was nearly a tenth of a second quicker than most of his rivals, a virtual drubbing in the world of drag racing. The 35-year-old, Las Vegas-based racer, who drives for Houston homebuilder David Powers, is racing in just his 38th event as a professional.

"The sun went down for us and Lee (Beard, crew chief) dove into the (timing) box a few times before we made our run because the conditions kept getting better and better by the minute and he wanted to take advantage of it," Fuller said. "He had that look in his eye like he was going for it an he came through. I'm not surprised because he got his start up in this part of the world.

"What a place for this to happen for me because the last year I ran as a Sportsman racer, I ran Division 6, so this was my area. It's been a fun weekend because so many of my buddies have stopped by today to say hi."

Fuller is without the services of car chief John Boyce this weekend. Boyce broke his femur Thursday afternoon when the team got together for a wake boarding outing. Boyce underwent surgery Friday and will be sidelined for several weeks.

"We all went to Lake Tapps and John just had a freak deal and broke his femur," Fuller said. "He's a very important part of this team and I think it says a great deal about the other guys that they were able to come together and pick up the slack today. John's a strong guy and I got sick to my stomach seeing him in so much pain, but his biggest concern was about the car, even when they were hauling him off in the ambulance."

Fuller has a good chance to hold onto the top position through Saturday's final two qualifying sessions as Seattle is under a severe heat advisory with temperatures over previously established record numbers. Saturday's sessions are schedule for noon and 3 p.m.

-dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Brandon Bernstein , David Powers , Rod Fuller