SCHUMACHER GRABS NUMBER ONE SPOT CHANDLER, Ariz., February 20, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher secured the number one starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's Arizona Nationals at...
SCHUMACHER GRABS NUMBER ONE SPOT
CHANDLER, Ariz., February 20, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher secured the number one starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.
In his only qualifying pass of the day (rain showers wiped out a scheduled second run), Schumacher banked a 3.818-second 1,000-foot trip at 317.05 mph which allowed him to claim his first pole of the season and the 59th of his career.
"Interestingly enough, we were hoping for a lot better out of the car," said the Chicago- area resident. "Mike Green (his crew chief) was going to make a late change to the set up but we were too far up in the staging lanes. Just the same we got the job done and in the end that's what counts."
Schumacher will roll up against 16th-place qualifier, Andy Carter, in the opening round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. MT.
"I'm sure Andy is going to come at me with guns blazing," said the defending world champion. "He's really got nothing to lose. We're going to have to be prepared to take his best shot and, of course, deliver one of our own."
Om Sunday, Schumacher will be attempting to record his fourth career win at Firebird and his 62nd victory overall.
"As usual, we'll have our work cut out for us," he added. "There are no free passes in this sport. Hopefully, we can put together the kind of day that we know we're capable of producing." Schumacher last visited winner's circle at the Texas Motorplex outside of Dallas last September.
While Schumacher was improving his standing on Saturday, so was his teammate Antron Brown, who directs the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster.
Brown, who nailed the fourth starting spot with a 3.838-second run at 315.34 mph, will face off with 13th-place qualifier, Troy Buff, in the first round of eliminations.