Jeff Fuller (racing driver)
March 27, 1957 |
Boylston, Massachusetts, United States
|Achievements||1992 Winston Modified Tour Champion|
|Awards||1995 Busch Series Rookie of the Year|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|14 race(s) run over 5 year(s)|
|Best finish||53rd (2000)|
|First race||1992 Pontiac Excitement 400 (Richmond)|
|Last race||2010 AMP Energy Juice 500 (Talladega)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|188 race(s) run over 16 year(s)|
|Best finish||10th (1995)|
|First race||1992 AC-Delco 200 (Rockingham)|
|Last race||2009 Kroger On Track for the Cure 250 (Memphis)|
|First win||1996 Food City 250 (Bristol)|
|Last win||1996 Food City 250 (Bristol)|
|Statistics current as of January 10, 2007.|
Jeff Fuller is a NASCAR driver. Before joining NASCAR's major leagues, Fuller won the 1992 Winston Modified Tour championship, driving for Sheba Racing. The Massachusetts native has 31 wins on the Modified Tour and was named the series' most popular drivers for three consecutive seasons (1992–1994).
Nationwide Series Career
Three years later, in 1995, after a run in the Whelen Modified Series, Fuller moved to the Busch Series to compete Rookie of the Year. His team would be the #47 Sunoco Chevy owned by ST Motorsports. His sole top-5 was a fourth in the fall race at Charlotte. He also added on five other top-10s. His best start in the season was only a pair of tenths at New Hampshire and Rockingham. He also finished in the top-30 in all but one race and only recorded five DNFs. This enabled him to finish tenth in points in just his first season in Busch Series, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.
Missing two races relegated Fuller back to 17th in points in 1996. In the same weekend at Bristol, Fuller won his first career pole, won his first career race and his wife gave birth to a child. Fuller only managed 3 other top-10s in 1996. He made one of his starts in a Michael Ritch-owned car, driving the #02 ECU Pirates at Rockingham to a 38th place finish. To top off this great year, Fuller had a daughter named Tiffany Fuller. That same year, Fuller won a race in a one-off start at Thompson Speedway in what was then the Busch North Series.
Fuller's team continued to struggle in early 1997. Fuller managed only two top-10s in his first fifteen races, (7th at Darlington and 3rd at New Hampshire) Fuller was released from the #47 after running eighteenth in points. Fuller missed the next two races, but then signed on to become the driver for the #45 Hunters Specialties Chevy for Mike Laughlin, earning finishes of 7th at Gateway and 9th at Bristol. However, Fuller was replaced for the last race by Greg Sacks, but drove the #5 Alka-Seltzer Chevy for Terry Labonte. After finishing 14th, he cemented a 21st place finish in points.
In 1998, Fuller only made eleven starts, making races with five different teams. Most of the season was with the #89 Allerest Chevy owned by Meredith Ruark. His best finish with them was 25th at Charlotte. Overall, Fuller's best finish of 1998 was with Laughlin's racing team at Pikes Peak, where he finished eleventh. Fuller also paired with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1998. He drove their #42 Carolina Turkey Pontiac at Charlotte to a fifteenth place finish. Fuller's other top-20 finish in 1998 was for Bill Elliott at Miami, where he finished fifteenth as well.
In 1999, Fuller made 27 of the season's 32 races, but did not record a single top-10. Fuller ran the first twenty-two races with Ruark's team, earning a best finish of 12th at Pikes Peak and IRP. Fuller made four starts for Joe Gibbs again, driving the #42 Circuit City Pontiac to a best of 12th at Darlington. Fuller also added on one more start with Lyndon Amick's team. He finished 33rd at Memphis Motorsports Park. Fuller's best start in 1999 was 5th at Pikes Peak, and he finished 22nd in points.
When Fuller went to Winston Cup racing, he only made one 2000 start. It was for Moy Racing, where he started 43rd on the field at Bristol, but came back to a 21st place finish.
Fuller made two more starts for NEMCO in 2002, running at Daytona and Talladega. However, despite a 5th place start at Daytona, he finished 42nd there and 40th at Talladega due to large multi car crashes.
Fuller made thirteen starts overall in 2003, driving for assorted teams. Mainly, he split his time between NEMCO and Stanton Barrett's team. His best finishes on the year were a 15th at Bristol for NEMCO and 18th at Nashville for Barrett. He also had a 24th place run at Daytona for Bost Motorsports. He only finished 3 races that year.
In 2004, he ran the most races in a season of his career since 1999 for NEMCO Motorsports. Unfortunately, his best finish was 35th at Nazareth, as he did not finish a race that year. He also caused controversy during the season as he rarely completed more than a handful of laps before pulling out of the race.
In 2005, Fuller started off the year driving two races for NEMCO, but he was quickly replaced by Kim Crosby, whose team bought the #7 NEMCO ride. Ironically, Fuller replaced Crosby later in the year, driving the #7 Big Boar Customs Chevy for GIC-Mixon Motorsports for the remainder of the year. Fuller qualified for fifteen races with the team, and his best finishes were at Dover, where he finished 24th in the fall and 25th in the spring. After Memphis, where Fuller finished 42nd, the team folded due to lack of funding, leaving Fuller rideless.
Fuller returned to the Busch Series in 2006 at the June Nashville race. He was signed to drive the #34 GlowBuoy Chevrolet for Frank Cicci Racing where he started 38th and finishing 27th.
During the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Nationwide Series Seasons, Jeff drove in a few races for Nemco Motorsports and Stanton Barrett.
Jeff planned to drive the #97 Chevrolet in the 2010 Nationwide Season opener at Daytona for Nemco Motorsports, but he withdrew even though he would have made the race, after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. Fuller was one of five drivers to be paid by John Menard and team owner Jack Roush (the approximate amount for each driver was around $45,000, equivalent to a last-place finish)  to drop out so John's son Paul could compete.
Kentucky Crash and Since After
He was involved in an incredible accident at the Kentucky speedway on June 17 when he swerved to avoid Jason Leffler's spinning car and ended up hitting the inside wall at almost full speed. The car practically imploded upon impact and then burst into flames briefly. Despite the car hitting the wall on the right side, the left side came apart. Amazingly, he never lost consciousness but the car's roof had to be cut off to extract him. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and (surprisingly, considering the heavy amount of damage to his car) a broken wrist and finger. He was released the next day. They determined that the implosion of the car was due to a faulty roll cage which failed during the crash.
Fuller made a full recovery from the accident, but when Frank Cicci closed up the #34 team for the rest of the year, Fuller was again left without a ride and his status.
For 2007 Fuller was driving for Stanton Barrett Motorsports on a limited basis.
Jeff is looking for a ride for the 2008 season. Meanwhile you can still find Jeff in the garage area of most Nationwide Series races helping young drivers learn to handle their car and master new tracks. February 2008 Jeff traveled to Afghanistan for a 10 day visit to 6 camps meeting soldiers, signing autographs and seeing first hand what our troops go through while deployed.
R3 Motorsports placed Jeff Fuller behind the wheel of their No. 23 Chevrolet for the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway. Fuller replaced Robert Richardson, Jr. for the 200-lap event. This was his first series start since the Montreal road course race in 2008, and he finished in 30th place.
Sprint Cup Series Career
Fuller then made seven starts in 2000 after a number of years on the Busch Series. He was tapped to drive the #27 Viagra Pontiac for Eel River Racing. Fuller made six of the first seven races, having a best finish of 22nd at Atlanta and a best start of 7th at Texas, but was released in favor of Dick Trickle and Mike Bliss. The Eel River team would eventually go through several drivers to include Kenny Wallace and eventually folded due to lack of funding. Later in 2000, Fuller drove the #98 MacPherson Motorsports Ford at Charlotte. He made the race with them with a 27th place start and 41st place finish. The team closed its doors before the 2001 Daytona 500.
Fuller tacked on three starts in 2004, running the #50 Arnold Motorsports Dodge in the later stages of the year. He was 43rd at California and Dover Downs and then 42nd at Charlotte. Charlotte was his best start on the year with a 26th place start.
For 2008, Fuller tested the #87 of Front Row Motorsports for the 2008 Daytona 500. In February 2008, Jeff traveled to Afghanistan for a 10 day visit to 6 camps supporting the US and Coalition Forces.
Jeff was going to drive the #97 FrontRowJoe.com Toyota in the 2010 Daytona 500 but failed to qualify. second Nemco Motorsports Toyota. Nemechek drove the #87. Jeff qualified the #97 HeatRedefined.com Nemco Motorsports Toyota in 13th for the 2010 AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega.