Gainesville: Tony Schumacher Friday notes

SCHUMACHER FIFTH AFTER FIRST DAY OF ACTION GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 13 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, dropped into the fifth starting spot here Friday following the initial day of qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco...

SCHUMACHER FIFTH AFTER FIRST DAY OF ACTION

GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 13 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, dropped into the fifth starting spot here Friday following the initial day of qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. After smoking the tires in the first run of the day, Schumacher returned in round two to post a 3.944-second jaunt at 304.87 mph.

"When you don't get down the track in the first session, you have to take a somewhat safe route the next time out to get in the show," said the six-time world champion. "We left some on the table so with any kind of luck we can improve tomorrow."

Schumacher will have two more qualifying sessions on Saturday before the 16-car field is locked in. He's shooting for his third straight top-five starting position. "We're looking forward to Sunday, needless to say," he added. "We want to leave Florida with some momentum. We can use a solid race day."

To date in 2009, the Chicago-area resident has a quarterfinal round advancement and a semifinal round appearance to his credit.

"We want another 'Gators' trophy this weekend," he said. "We're not going to settle for anything less."

Schumacher is one of four Top Fuel drivers in NHRA history to have won the Gatornationals three times. Joe Amato collected four titles during his Top Fuel career.

"This is a huge race," he said. "When you have one of these trophies on your shelf it's a great feeling."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato