Richmond, VA (April 28, 2000): Even though rain delayed the first day of qualifying for the Moto1.net Nationals in Richmond, Virginia, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates took advantage of their first qualifying attempt and end the day in the...
Richmond, VA (April 28, 2000): Even though rain delayed the first day of qualifying for the Moto1.net Nationals in Richmond, Virginia, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates took advantage of their first qualifying attempt and end the day in the No. 2 position with the forecast uncertain for Saturday's weather.
Racers were greeted with a new track surface and much cooler temperatures as they prepared to run the Richmond quarter mile on Friday. Many of the first cars smoked the tires and people were beginning to wonder if the nitro-burning dragsters would be able to run down the track. Half way through the first session, teams began to find the combination.
Schumacher, on a solo pass, staged his car and waited for starter, Rick Stewart, to activate the tree. Schumacher launched his car and he made it through the suspect parts of the racing surface without any major problems. His 4.664 ET at 306.95 MPH was good enough for the No. 2 spot. Schumacher, the reigning NHRA Winston Top Fuel champion, only trails Budweiser driver, Kenny Bernstein.
When asked about his run and the racing surface, Schumacher responded, "The car left very straight and as I went down track everything seemed just fine until about 850 feet. Then I started to spin the tires pretty hard."
"The car came over a little rise in the surface and unloaded the tires. Other than that, the surface is very smooth."
Anticipating inclement weather, NHRA officials gave notice to the racers that the second session would be moved up a half hour in an attempt to beat the rain. Unfortunately, it was not enough as the showers eventually caused a cancellation of the second qualifying session.
Qualifying is scheduled to resume Saturday morning. Teams will hopefully complete two additional runs in preparation for Sunday's eliminations.