Houston: "The Sarge" to face rookie Russell

Baytown, Texas (March 24): After finishing the first day of qualifying in the No. 8 position, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher could not improve his position with two additional runs on Saturday for the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway ...

Baytown, Texas (March 24): After finishing the first day of qualifying in the No. 8 position, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher could not improve his position with two additional runs on Saturday for the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Schumacher's first pass on Saturday was a tire spinning effort that only produced a 4.769 second elapsed time.

"We just couldn't hold traction at the top end of the track," commented "The Sarge."

In the final qualifying session before Sunday's Final Eliminations, Schumacher ran a 4.662 e.t. at 311.13 mph. Though it was not better than his previous best of 4.650 seconds, the Army team felt like it was there best effort of the weekend.

"We got a lot of data on the that lap," said Schumacher. "Dan (Olson) is a master at stepping it up on race day and I am sure we will be ready to go."

Schumacher will face rookie Darrell Russell in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Russell, driver of Joe Amato's dragster, qualified No. 9 with a 4.661 second run. Schumacher has only faced Russell once during his career and lost that meeting.

"Darrell is a very good driver and they have a very consistent car. We have to be on our game tomorrow," added Schumacher.

Final Eliminations are scheduled for 11:00 am. ESPN2 will televise Final Eliminations. Check local listings for times.

-DeLille

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Series NHRA
Drivers Joe Amato