TRACK RECORDS FALL AFTER QUALIFYING RESUMES AT GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
"Hot Rod" Fuller wants to break a perplexing streak Sunday when he
attempts to win his first elimination round out of the No. 1 qualifying
position, a slot he's earned four times in his brief career, including
this weekend's 11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by
Castrol at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
With two of four professional time trials lost to rain, there was a
premium on Saturday's final two qualifying runs and Fuller, Funny Car
leader Mike Ashley, Pro Stock dominator Greg Anderson, and Pro Stock
Motorcycle hot shot Matt Smith all managed to rise to the occasion.
Sporting Fabick Caterpillar livery this weekend, Fuller is the No. 1
qualifier in Top Fuel for the second race in a row after zipping to a
4.596 at 313.37 mph. Fuller gains two points on No. 3 qualifier Brandon
Bernstein, who passed him in the rankings by 19 markers with his second
straight win in Atlanta last weekend.
“We've talked about getting past this deal where we qualify No. 1 and
then lose in Round 1,” Fuller said. “When you're No. 1 it means you
have lane choice and it means you're running
the guy that's had the hardest time getting down the track. Instead of
burying everyone, maybe we should just back it down enough to make sure
we get down the track.”