Schumacher Jumps Up To Seventh For Race Day
U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher climbed into the seventh starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for the 32nd annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Schumacher's 4.053-second pass at 294.37 mph in session four earned him a meeting with defending world champion and 10th-place qualifier, Larry Dixon, in the opening round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. MT.
"Well, the fans are definitely going to get their money's worth early on Sunday," said Schumacher. "You are going to have two great teams battling it out. That is what makes this sport so exciting."
Schumacher and Dixon have combined to win 10 world championships, nine of which were claimed since 2002. Dixon's current team is Schumacher's old U.S. Army crew which captured titles from 2004 through 2008.
"When Larry and I face each other - be it in qualifying or on race day - it's always something to see," added the Chicago-area resident. "You certainly don't need to hype it up in any way. I know I'm going to get his best shot and he knows he's going to get my best shot."
Thus far this season, Schumacher has posted two race day wins over Dixon in three tries. One of those victories came in the second round at Atlanta Dragway in May, while Schumacher was en route to the finals.
"You can throw out the numbers as far as I'm concerned," said Schumacher, who is looking for his first victory of the year. "It's going to be a huge confrontation - it always is. I'm going to go back to the hotel and get a good night's sleep and then come out here tomorrow looking to take no prisoners."
As Schumacher made his way up in the order, his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, fell to the eighth spot in the lineup.
The New Jersey native will take on ninth-place qualifier, Terry McMillen, in the first round of action.
"It's tough up here on the mountain," said Brown. "The track has been real tricky, but we are going to keep making adjustments until we get where we need to be. We're going to be the first pair out tomorrow, but we'll just have to remain poised and do what we need to do."
By: don schumacher racing