Baytown, TX (April 15, 2000): Defending NHRA Winston Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates finished the final day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals in the No. 6 position as they look forward to Sunday's final ...
Baytown, TX (April 15, 2000): Defending NHRA Winston Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates finished the final day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals in the No. 6 position as they look forward to Sunday's final eliminations.
Schumacher opened the day with another consistent pass of 4.682 seconds at 311.85 mph. "Being consistent got us to the finals here a year ago," said Schumacher, "we'll try to stand on it a little in the last qualifying session to see what the track will take."
With only 15 cars entered into the event, everyone was gunning for Kenny Bernstein, knowing the No. 1 qualifier would have a first round bye, unfortunately Bernstein's Friday night 4.566 et was all but impossible to reach because of the daylight conditions.
The second session resumed after a lengthy cleanup caused when one of the first pair of cars put oil on the right lane of the track. Schumacher's car left the starting line hard, only to shake the tires loose and smoking them before hitting the 330 foot mark on the track. He coasted to a 10.343 et at 81.99 mph.
"Sure we are disappointed we are not higher in qualifying," said Schumacher outside his souvenir trailer, "but not everyone can be No.1 and it's a new day tomorrow."
Schumacher will face Aussie, David Grubnic in the first round of eliminations. Grubnic's best effort of the weekend was a 4.708 et at 314.24 mph, giving him the No. 11 qualifying spot. Schumacher will have lane choice in round one.
Should Schumacher advance in the first two rounds, he would be on a potential collision course with Gary Scelzi for the semifinal matchup on the bottom side of the ladder.
"We'll take one round at a time and if we get to run Gary, that's great. A lot of things can happen on Sunday."
Finals eliminations for the O'Reilly Nationals are scheduled for 10:00am with opening ceremonies scheduled for 9:00am. TNN will provide race coverage. Check local listings for times.