Don Schumacher Racing
Schumacher Remains Fourth For Race Day
U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher held on to the fourth starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
The Chicago-area resident did improve upon his Friday time with a 3.845-second run at 319.67 miles per hour in the third session, but he couldn't move up in the race day order.
In securing a top half of the field starting position for the 14th consecutive race, Schumacher set up a confrontation with 13th-place qualifier, Steve Chrisman, in Sunday's opening round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT.
"We are now prepared for battle," said Schumacher, who beat Chrisman in the first round at Infineon Raceway last weekend. "It's time for us to go out and get our first win of the year. We have to have a 'take no prisoners' attitude tomorrow."
Having banked two straight final round appearances (four overall in 2011), Schumacher is more than ready to collect four win lights in the Pacific Northwest.
"I'm confident we can do just that," he offered. "You would have to think the percentages will sway in our favor at some point. Tomorrow would be a perfect time for that to happen."
Schumacher can certainly find his way to victory lane at Pacific Raceways without much effort. Since 2004, he has won four times at the picturesque facility.
"We definitely want to add to that total," said Schumacher, fifth in the Top Fuel standings. "The track has been a little challenging so far this weekend, so we'll just have to take what it gives us on Sunday. As always, you have to race the lane you're in and not really worry about who is next to you."
After capturing the race in Sonoma, Calif. last weekend, Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, continued to ride high by nailing the number one qualifying position with a 3.809-second trip at 321.58 mph.
For Brown, a New Jersey native, it was his first pole of the season and the 27th of his career (16 of them have come in Top Fuel and 11 in Pro Stock Motorcycles). He has one win to his credit at Pacific Raceways - in 2009.
"It feels good," said Brown, fourth in the points. "The track is getting better and better. It's been a little while since we've been number one (he was number one in Denver last year). We'll just see how it goes tomorrow. We'll take it a round at a time and keep on pushing."
Brown will line up alongside 16th-place qualifier, Morgan Lucas, in the first round on Sunday.