Tony Schumacher easily captured the 2005 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Championship on Friday: Schumacher simply had to get his US Army Top Fuel dragster to stage on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in order to clinch his second consecutive national championship.
Indeed the dragster did stage and Schumacher did capture the third title of his career and the fifth career championship for crew chief Alan Johnson.
After a fierce points battle, was the victory sweeter this year? Schumacher conceded, "Very few people have won three championships, and back to back. So it's starting to change what the goal is. The list is so much smaller. This is outstanding."
Schumacher not only won the championship but also set the low ET for the first round of qualifications. "If we'd gone out and smoked the tires it would have been bittersweet. This is a dynamite ending.
"More than anything this is for the 800,000 Army guys out there doing there jobs and the millions of retired soldiers," continued a very pleased Schumacher. "I think it's really cool that there are guys in pretty intense situations that are going to catch wind of this. That's cool."
Greg Anderson has the chance to capture the PowerAde Pro Stock Car Championship if he can qualify eighth or better for Sunday's race. After Friday's two session, Anderson sits on top of the field. "It's been an exciting year in Pro Stock. I love this track and it's always been good to me. It's great to have the chance to clinch the championship here."
After some stellar nighttime runs, Schumacher holds the top spot in Top Fuel, Tommy Johnson Jr. tops the Funny Car category and Ryan Schnitz leads Pro Stock Motorcycle. Teams have two more qualification sessions on Saturday. Also on Saturday, eight Top Fuel teams will compete in the Budweiser Shootout, a bonus event offering $100,000 to the winner.