Ennis, TX (May 28): Starting from the No. 5 qualifying position for the Castrol Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates had their sites set on picking up their second win of the year and keeping the...
Ennis, TX (May 28): Starting from the No. 5 qualifying position for the Castrol Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates had their sites set on picking up their second win of the year and keeping the points lead as they head to Chicago. They missed on both.
In the first round of eliminations, Schumacher laid down an impressive 4.618 e.t. at 318.69 mph to defeat Andrew Cowin's 11.748 e.t.. "The car was really hauling," said Schumacher, "in the back of your mind you have to be ready to pedal the car when it is this hot. It cruised right down the middle of the track."
That set up a second round meeting with Cory McClenathan. It was the first time this year that the two met.
Schumacher's day came to an end earlier than expected. Schumacher ran a 4.701 e.t. at 314.57 mph to McClenathan's 4.648 e.t..
"We were just too soft," said crew chief Dan Olson, "we didn't think the track would hold any more than we gave it since it was hotter than the first round. We just missed on the tune-up."
Schumacher drops to second in NHRA Winston Championship points as Gary Scelzi went on to win the event. Schumacher trails Scelzi by 39 points. Scelzi defeated Larry Dixon in the finals. Dixon is third, 7 points behind Schumacher.
"We knew it would be nearly impossible to keep the points lead all season," said driver, Tony Schumacher, "there are too many good cars out here."
"Now we have to regroup and take it back from Scelzi. It's is disappointing because we knew we had more for them today."
Next stop on the NHRA Tour is Route 66 Raceway in Schumacher's hometown, Chicago. Schumacher has an extra incentive to win next week knowing he will have over 50 family members and friends joining him for the weekend.
"We'll definitely have our own cheering section next week," Schumacher commented.