Las Vegas: Tony Schmacher Saturday notes

LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 12 - For the first time in 2008, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will start from the number one spot in Sunday's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With teams having...

LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 12 - For the first time in 2008, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will start from the number one spot in Sunday's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With teams having to deal with a hot track on Saturday, Schumacher's 4.510- second pass from Friday comfortably held up through the final two rounds of qualifying.

"It's been a while since we started from the pole," said the five-time world champion. "We had been shut out since last year's season finale. Hopefully, we'll be able to carry this momentum into tomorrow."

In pocketing his 48th career pole and his sixth at The Strip, Schumacher set up a confrontation with 16th-place qualifier, Steve Chrisman, for the first round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT.

"We have to be ready for another tough test," he offered. "I've often said that there aren't any freebies in this class. You better be sharp right out of the box or otherwise you'll be going home real early."

Schumacher arrived in Vegas holding a slight eight-point advantage over Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel standings. As a result, he'll be looking to pad that lead come late Sunday afternoon.

"We're in a tight battle at the moment," he said. "We're all grabbing for as many points as we can get. Obviously, we want to have the most points on our side of the ledger when all is said and done."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Chrisman