Richmond Tony Schumacher; dealing with the setbacks

Richmond, VA (April 29, 2000): Competitors were happy to see that the rain that was forecasted for the day Saturday, appeared to have missed the Richmond area as Day 2 of the Moto1.net Nationals was set to start. After having their second ...

Richmond, VA (April 29, 2000): Competitors were happy to see that the rain that was forecasted for the day Saturday, appeared to have missed the Richmond area as Day 2 of the Moto1.net Nationals was set to start.

After having their second qualifying session of the first day rained out, Top Fuel dragsters took to the staging lanes right on schedule. Finishing the first day as the No. 2 qualifier put Schumacher in the last pair of cars with No. 1 qualifier, Kenny Bernstein.

Schumacher's Dan Olson-tuned dragster looked to be on another great pass, but slowed to a 4.806 ET at 241.15 MPH and left him in the No. 5 position with one final qualifying attempt remaining.

"The car felt real good when it left, but we lost a cylinder before half track," commented Schumacher, "we were on pace to run a low .60."

After returning to their pit area, the World Champion Exide team was surprised to discover that they had actually had a pushrod fail on the motor. "We are lucky we didn't have an oily mess," added Schumacher.

Crew chief, Dan Olson added, "Tony did a great job driving. If he wouldn't have lifted when he did, we would have lost the whole motor."

In the second session of the day and the final qualifying attempt before Sunday eliminations, Schumacher faced rival Gary Scelzi. Both cars had minor problems; Schumacher's was tire shake. He coasted down the track to a 10.762 ET at 77.22 MPH. "It would have been an easy one to pedal through if it was race day," said Schumacher, "but why take the chance of hurting any parts when you don't have the chance to improve your qualifying position."

Schumacher will start Sunday's final eliminations from the No. 7 position and will face No. 10, Bob Vandergriff, whose best effort was a 4.706 ET. Also on Schumacher's side of the ladder are No. 2 qualifier, Kenny Bernstein and No. 3, Gary Scelzi. Final eliminations are scheduled to start at 11:00am ET.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Bob Vandergriff