"THE SARGE" JUMPS INTO TOP SPOT LAS VEGAS, Nev., October 29, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, nailed the provisional pole position here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the Las Vegas ...
"THE SARGE" JUMPS INTO TOP SPOT
LAS VEGAS, Nev., October 29, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, nailed the provisional pole position here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The defending world champion stopped the clock in 3.812-seconds at a sizzling 325.14 mph during the second session and that was good enough for the number one position going into Saturday's final two qualifying runs.
Schumacher's speed is the fastest ever recorded since the NHRA went to 1,000-foot racing for the nitro cars. He will need to post a speed of at least 321.89 mph on Saturday or Sunday to set the national speed record.
"That was a tremendous job by the U.S. Army team," said the Chicago-area resident. "We needed to come out to Las Vegas and make some noise this weekend, so this was a big step in the right direction."
Schumacher arrived in "Sin City" holding third-place in the standings, 154 points behind leader, Larry Dixon. While not mathematically eliminated from world title contention, he knows an uphill battle remains.
"We're going to try and win the race here and then the season finale in two weeks," he said. "After that, the points will be what they will be. If we're not the champion, we'll go over and shake that person's hand and offer congratulations. That's the way it has to be."
Having won six consecutive Full Throttle trophies, Schumacher is keenly aware he's had a good run for an extended period of time.
"It's been a terrific ride no matter how it turns out this year," he added. "Like I said, we want to win the last two races and, hopefully, that will set the tone for 2011. The guys want to have that championship feeling again real soon."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, posted a 3.911-second pass at 311.27 mph in the second session and thus ended up eighth. The New Jersey native is seeking his first victory of the season.
"We want to get a win before this season is over," said the driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster. "Hopefully, we can bring it home here in Las Vegas."
Brown came into the Las Vegas Nationals weekend sitting in seventh-place, but trailed fourth-place Doug Kalitta by only 24 points.