Las Vegas II: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

"THE SARGE" SETTLES FOR FOURTH LAS VEGAS, Nev., October 31 - Piloting his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher banked the fourth starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at...

"THE SARGE" SETTLES FOR FOURTH

LAS VEGAS, Nev., October 31 - Piloting his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher banked the fourth starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Despite posting two error-free passes, Schumacher was knocked from third to fourth in the final race day order behind Larry Dixon, Steve Torrence and Antron Brown, respectively.

"It's all good," said Schumacher, who is bidding for his sixth straight world championship. "We'll be fine tomorrow. I've been given a good race car and now it's up to me to go out and do my job behind the wheel."

Schumacher's first round opponent will be 13th-place qualifier and Sweden native, Urs Erhbacher. It will be their first meeting of the season.

"From what I have observed, he's a pretty darn good racer," said the Chicago-area resident. "He has a car that typically gets down the track, so we can't afford to make any mistakes. We'll be ready to go."

Schumacher will head into Sunday's action holding a 41-point lead over Larry Dixon in the standings. Dixon gained six points during two days of qualifying.

"That's all right," added Schumacher. "Tomorrow is when it counts the most. We need to try to put some distance between us and the rest of the field." The Las Vegas Nationals marks the fifth of six races which comprises the

NHRA's Countdown to 1. The 2009 season will conclude at Auto Club Raceway, November 12-15, in Pomona, Calif.

"We're at the time when we have to dig down deep," said Schumacher. "Good teams always rise to the occasion during big moments. I believe I have a team that's more than up to the task."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Steve Torrence