Joliet: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

JOLIET, Ill., June 7 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, held on to his number one standing here Saturday after the final day of qualifying for tomorrow's Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Schumacher,...

JOLIET, Ill., June 7 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, held on to his number one standing here Saturday after the final day of qualifying for tomorrow's Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Schumacher, who hails from the Chicago area, pocketed his third pole of the year and the 50th pole of his career. Additionally, it's his sixth pole at Route 66 Raceway. The defending NHRA POWERade world champion will confront 16th-place qualifier, Bob Vandergriff, Jr., in the opening round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

"As usual, that's a great job by the U.S. Army team," said Schumacher. "I'm happy that we were able to stay on top of the order given the level of competition that's out there these days. Now, we'll have to get after it on Sunday." With Route 66 Raceway being his home track, Schumacher was particularly pleased to have success in front of a large contingent of family and friends.

"It's been pretty hectic so far this weekend, but it'll definitely be nice to walk out last during driver introductions tomorrow," he said. "We do have to keep things in perspective, though. This qualifying effort won't mean very much if we don't go rounds on race day."

Schumacher is also eager to deliver to his sponsor - the U.S. Army - a special 233rd birthday present.

"We need to do that for our Soldiers," he added. "They all sacrifice so much each day for us. We can easily gift wrap the event trophy - no problem." The five-time world champion came into the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals with a 109-point lead over Antron Brown in the standings.

"We need to keep building on that lead and the only way to do that is to win races," he offered. "And, rest assured, we truly love winning races over in the U.S. Army team camp. We're going to try real hard to get victory number four on Sunday."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Bob Vandergriff