Norwalk: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

SCHUMACHER CLAIMS EIGHTH STARTING POSITION NORWALK, Ohio, June 28 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, secured the eighth starting spot here Saturday after final qualifying for the second annual Summit Racing Equipment ...

SCHUMACHER CLAIMS EIGHTH STARTING POSITION

NORWALK, Ohio, June 28 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, secured the eighth starting spot here Saturday after final qualifying for the second annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

Schumacher, who is the defending event champion, used a 4.703-second pass at 300.46 mph to set up an 11 a.m. Sunday meeting with ninth-place qualifier, Bob Vandergriff, Jr.

Vandergriff Jr. and Schumacher have met only once this season in final eliminations. The latter banked a first round win at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. earlier this month.

"It was tough sledding out here today given that we lost two rounds of qualifying yesterday (due to water seepage issues)," said Schumacher. "We got down the track in the opening round, but we smoked the tires in that last round. Tomorrow will be another day."

This will be the second straight race that Schumacher will come out of a non-top five starting spot. Last Sunday in Englishtown, N.J., he qualified ninth and went on to capture his fifth victory of the season.

"We've proven that you can win from anywhere in the order," he added. "Heck, last year we qualified 14th here in Norwalk and got the win. We'll work hard to go after another win for our Soldiers. That's always our goal."

With the Norwalk race marking the halfway point of the 2008 season, Schumacher is hoping he can finish the opening segment in impressive fashion.

"We definitely love winning races," offered the five-time world champion. "Overall, we've had an exceptional run so far. Of course, we're not going to rest on our laurels. The idea is that we need to keep building momentum so by the time we get to the Countdown to One phase of the Countdown to the Championship (in September at Charlotte), we're rolling along."

Schumacher entered the Norwalk race weekend holding a 244-point lead on second-place, Antron Brown, in the Top Fuel standings.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher