Memphis: Tony Schumacher Friday notes

"THE SARGE" DROPS INTO THIRD POSITION MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 2 - Directing his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher pocketed the third starting spot here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South...

"THE SARGE" DROPS INTO THIRD POSITION

MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 2 - Directing his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher pocketed the third starting spot here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Having arrived in the land of Elvis carrying the Top Fuel points lead, Schumacher easily moved into the top half of the field after a 3.857-second pass at 313.80 mph.

"It was a solid effort," said the defending world champion. "Ultimately, we're hoping we can take the Dallas performance from last weekend and duplicate it here in Memphis."

Last Sunday, Schumacher captured the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals and in the process swiped the top position in the standings. It marked the first time since the Topeka race in May that he's held the lead.

"There's no question we're happy to be on top," he said. "But, we need to make sure we don't get distracted. We need to have another good outing." Schumacher is shooting for his sixth consecutive title and the seventh of his career. With many rounds of racing still on the table, he knows the title road will be anything but smooth.

"We're going to have to be aggressive and navigate around any potential potholes," he added. "To be honest, that's what championship contenders do during the home stretch of the season."

The Memphis race marks the third of four straight races for the NHRA tour. The Virginia Nationals outside of Richmond is scheduled for next weekend.

"We all knew this was going to be a critical part of the season," said Schumacher. "The team that rises to the occasion will clearly have a leg up going into the final two races."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher