Yas Marina. Top Fuel debut. Fuller at Sonoma

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Fan favorite “Hot Rod” Fuller will return to NHRA competition behind the wheel of the Yas Marina Circuit Top Fuel dragster. The seven-time Top Fuel winner will make his 2010 NHRA debut at the 23rd annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 16-18, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.

Championship crew chief Lee Beard, who served as Fuller’s crew chief in 2006, will call the shots on the Yas Marina Circuit car. The Yas Marina Circuit dragster is owned by Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) and based in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Fuller and the Yas Marina Circuit team also will compete at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil in Indianapolis, and the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Charlotte. The car will then return to Abu Dhabi for winter events at the Yas Drag Centre at Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, scheduled for Nov. 12-14. The Yas team is sponsored on its United States tour by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and managed by Don Schumacher Racing.

“I am very excited to be back racing in the U.S. this summer,” Fuller said. “I moved to Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the year to help spread NHRA Drag Racing to the U.A.E. and to develop local talent. People in both countries share a love of cars, of speed, and of drag racing. Now I get to compete against my old rivals in four major events and at the same time help to promote Abu Dhabi and the U.A.E. as a great tourist destination for Americans.

Fuller, who has earned NHRA wins in Top Fuel, Super Comp, and Super Gas, has seven Top Fuel wins in 18 final rounds. He has carded seven Top Fuel poles. Fuller, 39, finished second in the 2007 NHRA Top Fuel standings, winning three races in six final rounds and earning four No. 1 qualifiers. He won the lucrative $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2007. Fuller also has 13 wins in Super Comp and Super Gas.

Beard last served as a crew chief in 2008 when he tuned Antron Brown to two wins in five final rounds during his rookie Top Fuel campaign. Beard, 56, has tuned 10 drivers to 53 NHRA wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car, including current DSR drivers Cory McClenathan and Brown. He won the 1989 Top Fuel world championship with Gary Ormsby and has tuned four U.S. Nationals winners. His drivers also have earned 60 No. 1 qualifying awards.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be the crew chief for the Yas Marina Circuit team,” Beard said. “We have a very talented crew of technicians, and it’s great to be reunited with ‘Hot Rod.’ The biggest asset I will have is that I am surrounded by a tremendous talent pool of crew chiefs here at DSR, and they’ll provide the Yas Marina team with the proper guidance and latest technology.”


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