Shrewsbury resident lives life at 200mph
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Dale Earnhardt Sr. considered by many as the greatest racecar driver ever, once described Rob Fuller as someone with “a bunch of natural ability in a racecar.” For Shrewsbury resident Rob Fuller, this is no dream. His wild life in the racing world is a reality.
Worcester-born Rob Fuller was practically born behind the wheel. He attended several schools around central Mass. before graduating from Tahanto Regional High School in 1991. Rob’s father, Bobby Fuller, was a weekly fixture at Thompson Motor Speedway races. While his father was racing on the main stage, Rob would be racing go-carts in the parking lot, as part of the “Quarter Midget Class.”
Rob’s uncle, Jeff Fuller, was also a very recognizable name in the racing community. Jeff won the 1992 Winston Modified Tour Championship, and was awarded “Most Popular Driver” every year from 1992 to 1994. The following year, Jeff switched to Busch Series Racing, where he won “Rookie of the Year.” In 1996, Jeff won the “‘Food City 250” – his only career victory.
Right before that victory, a young Rob Fuller moved down to North Carolina to work with his uncle.
“He made me work for my spot,” recalled Rob. “When I first got down there, there was no special treatment, and no pay.”
Rob would clean around the shop, until eventually joining the pit crew, where he specialized in rear-tire changing. Ultimately, Rob went on to pit for notable racers like Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“He respected Ryan Newman’s talent, but he was most like Rusty Wallace,” Rob’s wife, Monica, pointed out. “Rusty had a great understanding of his racecar, and was a fierce competitor, just like Rob.”
Though Rob had talent as a driver, he discovered his talents could be much more beneficial in the technical aspect of racing. In 2004, he landed a position with the Vehicle Dynamics Department at Penske Racing. Later that same year, he was appointed to the Dale Earnhardt Racing team, as the head of the Vehicle Dynamics Department. Rob and Dale Jr. became very close during their time working together, so when Dale left the team in 2007, Rob left as well. That’s when Rob Fuller Motorsports was created.
In 2008, Rob assembled a car that qualified for 18th place at the Daytona 500. Just as things were starting to come together for the Rob Fuller Racing team, Rob sold the team to a group of partners. The main reason; Rob wanted to spend more time with his family.
Rob now lives in Shrewsbury with Monica, and their two boys. He currently works with Draco Racing Distribution. Draco supplies suspension designs and tech support for all motorsports. This allows Rob to still work with the big names in racing, including Joe Gibbs Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, and Hendrick Motorsports. And now that his boys are getting older, Rob hopes to return to the racetrack as soon as next year.
Rob made a sacrifice, giving up a full-time NASCAR career to spend time with his family, but as he notes, he would “do it all again in a heartbeat.”
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