Route 66 Raceway
Schumacher Retains Fifth Starting Spot
U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will come out of the fifth starting position here Sunday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Schumacher, who is seeking his first win of the season, will face off with 12th-place qualifier, Shawn Langdon, in the first round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. CT.
"We were hoping to move up in the order today, but the track never really cooled off enough to put up a good number," said the Chicago-area resident. "With that said, tomorrow should be a whole different deal for the crew chiefs."
Since qualifying took place during the late afternoon and early evening hours on both Friday and Saturday, crew chiefs were not able to gather any data for late morning runs.
"That might be a factor for some teams," said Schumacher. "The opening round could certainly be very interesting. Of course, I have tremendous confidence in Mike Green (his crew chief) and my team that we'll get the job done. Failure is never an option with us."
With the 22-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season reaching the halfway point in Joliet, Schumacher understands it is time to start making a move in the standings. He arrived at his home track holding fifth-place in the points.
"It is definitely time to step on it," he said. "We need to start going rounds while making it known we're going to be in the world championship hunt."
Counting the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, six races remain before the Countdown to 1 commences in mid-September.
"It's getting close to crunch time," said the seven-time world champion. "Again, we need to start collecting round wins to set ourselves up in the best possible way for the playoffs." Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, also held on to the starting spot he swiped on Friday - third. He will take on 14th-place qualifier, Troy Buff, in the first round of action.
"It's time to race," said the New Jersey native. "I'm looking forward to taking my Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster deep into the day tomorrow. As always, I've been given a great hot rod, so it's on me to make sure I do the job behind the wheel."
By: don schumacher racing