Gainesville: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

SCHUMACHER TO START FROM SIXTH SPOT GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 14 -Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher collected the sixth starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The...

SCHUMACHER TO START FROM SIXTH SPOT

GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 14 -Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher collected the sixth starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for the 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

The U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot recorded a weekend best 3.943-second pass at 307.58 mph in qualifying session number four which was good enough to clinch a spot in the top half of the field.

The three-time Gatornationals champion will take on 11th-place qualifier Del Cox Jr. in the first round of eliminations on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. EDT.

"The track surface was pretty hot today so it was challenging as a result," said Schumacher. "We're definitely making progress with this U.S. Army dragster. I can tell you we're hungry to get our first victory of the year."

The Chicago-area resident will first have to deal with Cox Jr. who he beat in the opening round of eliminations at the season opener last month.

"He gave us a good race in Pomona (Calif.) so we better be on our game tomorrow," added Schumacher. "We're not going to get caught looking ahead."

Having failed to advance past the semifinals in two races, Schumacher is eager to show his competitors that he's going to be a serious contender for the 2009 Full Throttle world championship.

"We want them to know we're not going away," he said. "The pieces are all coming together nicely for this team. I'm really excited about this race and beyond." In '09, Schumacher is looking to win his sixth straight world title and the seventh of his career.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher