Englishtown, NJ (Sept. 8): After the original date was rained out, the Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals got back under way as qualified teams were given two testing sessions to prepare for Saturday's final eliminations at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Tony Schumacher and his new Army dragster return to this event qualified in the No. 4 position and will face Don Lampus in the opening round. Schumacher's first pass of the day was a steady 4.657 second blast at 322.65 mph, showing the Dan Olson horsepower that helped him win the 1999 Top Fuel title.
"That was just another consistent Dan Olson tune-up," quipped Schumacher referring to the pace Olson has set recently as he tuned Schumacher to victories at the last two events.
The night session promised more and Schumacher and "The Sarge" dragster delivered. Though the e.t. was second quick at 4.612 seconds, his mph was the fastest of the year and under the new 90% nitro rule at 323.27 mph.
"Melanie (Troxel - Schumacher's teammate) went the fastest of her career last week in Indy and now Dan has shown what this car can run under the 90% rule," said Schumacher, "when he gets on a roll like this; look out."
Schumacher's run will not count as an official pass since the Friday sessions were used only to give teams a chance to test their tune-ups. Four months have passed since the cancellation of the original event.
Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 2pm on Saturday.