Reading: Tony Schumacher Friday notes

SCHUMACHER TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE READING, Pa., August 15 - Piloting his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher bolted to the provisional pole position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for Sunday's Toyo Tires ...

SCHUMACHER TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE

READING, Pa., August 15 - Piloting his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher bolted to the provisional pole position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for Sunday's Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

With his 3.816-second pass at 316.67 mph in the second session, Schumacher yet again placed himself in a position for an opening round bye on race day.

"You hate to see that we don't have a full field (16 cars) for the second straight race, but when that happens you definitely want to be the number one guy," said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion. "It makes it a bit easier to get up on Sunday knowing you are already through to the second round."

Of course, Schumacher will have to survive two more rounds of qualifying tomorrow if he is to clinch the coveted bye round.

"Anything can happen," he added. "The track here is real good and there are plenty of fast race cars. If we're to stay on top, we'll have to earn it." Schumacher will be shooting for his sixth pole of the season and the 53rd of his career. Additionally, he's seeking his sixth pole at Maple Grove Raceway.

"This is another track that Alan Johnson (his crew chief) has a handle on," he said. "We're just on a roll right now and we're going to enjoy it as long as it lasts."

Schumacher has captured four consecutive races and six of the last seven. He's led the points since the season opener in Pomona, Calif. back in February.

"It's been said that all good things must come to end, but I certainly don't want this run to end for quite a while," he said. "In fact, if it continued right through the middle of November I'd be one happy camper."

Schumacher has already clinched the top seed for the Countdown to One phase of the Countdown to the Championship, which starts in Charlotte, N.C. next month.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher