SCHUMACHER SECURES FIRST POLE OF THE SEASON
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 13 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher swiped his first pole of the season here Saturday following final qualifying for the United Association SuperNationals at Raceway Park.
With rain wiping out the fourth qualifying session, Schumacher was never challenged for the top spot, which he earned on Friday courtesy of a 3.818-second pass. In addition to nailing his first pole of 2009, the Chicago-area resident banked his 57th career pole and his second career pole at Raceway Park.
Given a shortened 15-car field, Schumacher will have a bye run in the first round of final eliminations on Sunday. In the quarterfinals, he will face the winner of the Clay Millican-Doug Kalitta match up.
"We're certainly happy we were able to stay number one," said Schumacher. "To have a bye run in the opening round is huge. We'll take the 20 free points, that's for sure. But, we still have to go out and put up a good number so we can get lane choice in the second round."
Schumacher is hoping he can turn things around this weekend after absorbing a tough first round loss last Sunday in Joliet, Ill.
"We need to forget about what happened last weekend and go out and have a good day tomorrow," he added. "We'd love to give the U.S. Army a nice 234th birthday present as well."
Schumacher is also eager to reclaim the Top Fuel lead from Antron Brown. He came into the United Association SuperNationals trailing Brown by 18 points in the standings.
"We definitely prefer to be holding the number one position," said the defending Englishtown event winner. "The guys are real motivated to get it back."