Don Schumacher Racing press release
SCHUMACHER DROPS INTO FOURTH AFTER OPENING DAY
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Sept. 2, 2011 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, collected the fourth starting spot here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the 57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Schumacher's 3.893-second pass at 316.23 mph was just a tick slower than the top three of Larry Dixon, Morgan Lucas and Terry McMillen, respectively.
"Considering how hot it was here today (the air temperature hovered around 100 degrees with track temperatures at more than 130 degrees), that was a very nice lap," said the seven-time world champion. "We wanted a clean run to get some data, while grabbing a good spot in the field. We accomplished our mission."
Schumacher actually posted the same elapsed time as McMillen, but the latter had a little better speed and thus swiped the third position ahead of the Chicago-area resident.
"We would have welcomed getting a point (for being the third quickest of the session), but that's all right," said Schumacher. "We'll go get 'em tomorrow."
Two more Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 and 7 p.m. ET on Saturday with two more slated for Sunday.
"We certainly have plenty of time to get the car dialed in the way we want it," said Schumacher. "The weather is going to change quite a bit between now and race day on Monday, so we'll have to adjust as we go along. My team is very good at adapting to situations."
On Labor Day, Schumacher will be seeking his first victory of the season and his ninth U.S. Nationals win, which would be a U.S. Nationals Top Fuel record. Currently, he's tied with Don Garlits with eight Indy wins.
"I was asked multiple times today about the possibility of setting the record," offered Schumacher. "We certainly are going to go after it.
"We also want to win this race for a more important reason - to help honor the 75 U.S. Army personnel who were lost in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. We will never forget those great Americans."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, stopped the clock with a 3.896-second trip at 316.67 mph, which was good enough for fifth in the order.
"We got down the track in fine form," said Brown. "We had a real challenge with the heat today, so hats off to my guys for taking care of business."