Rod Fuller made up for an earlier mistake in a big way Friday during the 26th annual Lucas Oils NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
He posted the provisional pole position in his unsponsored, all-white Top Fuel dragster with a pass of 4.607 seconds at 324.83 mph in the second round of qualifying.
"Our first run was a mistake on my part, to be honest," said Fuller, the reigning points leader. "They had the car set up soft because they wanted it to go down that hot racetrack. They slip the clutch to get it to do that but when I stepped on the gas it felt weird to me so I lifted. I got back and looked at the graph and it would have been a perfect run. I felt terrible about it and apologized to all my guys."
"Hot Rod" Fuller (foreground) of Las Vegas, Nev., roared to the No. 1 qualifying spot with an ET of 4.607 and a speed of 324.83 mph at the 26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Friday at Brainerd International Raceway. In the far lane, Hillary Will of Ypsilanti, Mich., qualified No. 8 with an ET of 4.672 and a speed of 321.81 mph.
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Fuller said his second run, just as clouds hid the blazing sun that pushed temperatures into the mid-90s, felt great.
"Wow how lucky can you be," said Fuller of the cloud cover.
There also were five more pairs of cars that ran after Fuller's run.
"I was really surprised (the position) held," said Fuller, who lost in the semifinals last year at BIR and settled for runner up at the track in Super Gas in 1996.
Larry Dixon, a two-time winner at BIR qualified second with a 4.617 at 298.34 mph in his SkyTel dragster. Fuller's teammate Whit Bazemore, in his first year in the class, is third with a 4.628 in his Matco Tools dragster. Defending champion Brandon Bernstein in his Budweiser dragster is 12th with a 4.724.
The key: "Hot Rod" Fuller piloted his Top Fuel dragster to the No. 1 qualifying spot during Friday's qualifying session at the 26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at BIR.
Tony Schumacher, a two-time winner at BIR, led after the first round before dropping to 11th overall. He is second in the points standings.
Fuller, who has six career poles, said he thinks his pole position will hold despite two more qualifying sessions Saturday.
His goal is to leave BIR with a 139-point lead which would clinch the No. 1 seed going into the Countdown to the Championship.
CLINT WOOD, staff writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5870.
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