Chicago Tony Schumacher Starts No. 2

Joliet, IL (June 3): After spending one day as the No. 1 qualifier at his home track, Tony Schumacher was edged in the last session and will start Sunday eliminations at the Prestone Route 66 Nationals as the No. 2 qualifier. To start the day,...

Joliet, IL (June 3): After spending one day as the No. 1 qualifier at his home track, Tony Schumacher was edged in the last session and will start Sunday eliminations at the Prestone Route 66 Nationals as the No. 2 qualifier.

To start the day, Schumacher's Exide dragster ran low e.t. of the third qualifying session with a 4.608 e.t. at 320.58 mph. After running a 4.593 e.t. during the night session, Team Exide is comfortable with their tune-up going into raceday.

In the final qualifying session, Schumacher still held the No. 1 spot with only two pair of cars to go. Cory McClenathan surprised the field as he stepped up and ran a 4.547 e.t. at 317.72 mph, .05 quicker than Schumacher's Friday night effort. With only Schumacher and Gary Scelzi remaining, Schumacher still had a chance to recapture his first No. 1 position of his career.

Schumacher was only able to run a 4.625 e.t. at 314.83 mph and had to settle for No. 2 qualifier.

"We really wanted to get our first No. 1 at home," said a disappointed Schumacher, "but now we need to concentrate on Sunday. Winning the race would more than make up for it."

Schumacher will face Joe Hartley in the first round of eliminations and is positioned on the same side of the ladder to meet Gary Scelzi in another semifinal matchup should they both win their first two rounds.

"We need to go rounds and worry about each one as it comes," said Schumacher, "if we get a chance to race Gary, that's a great way to motivate us. But to be honest, I would rather have him go out earlier than the semi's."

Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 10am. ESPN2 will televise final eliminations of the Prestone Route 66 Nationals. Check local listings for times.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Cory McClenathan , Joe Hartley