Schumacher falls short in Bristol Showdown

Bristol, Tenn. (July 9): After winning his first round matchup on Saturday, Tony Schumacher looked to go four rounds on Sunday at the Winston Showdown in Bristol, Tennessee to claim the $200,000 winners check. In the second round of...

Bristol, Tenn. (July 9): After winning his first round matchup on Saturday, Tony Schumacher looked to go four rounds on Sunday at the Winston Showdown in Bristol, Tennessee to claim the $200,000 winners check.

In the second round of eliminations and the first round of the day, Schumacher faced John Force's teammate, Tony Pedregon. Schumacher quickly made up the starting line advantage given to the Funny Cars and cruised to victory with a 4.747 e.t. at 300.80 mph. That would put Schumacher up against former NHRA regular, Jim Head.

In this matchup of dragster versus dragster, each driver would have to remember that it was a heads up race with the same tree for both drivers. Schumacher again had a starting line advantage and pulled away for the easy win as Head gambled on his setup and smoked the tires. Schumacher recorded a 4.756 e.t. at 301.33 mph which would give him lane choice in the semifinals against Ron Capps.

Team Exide knew that Ron Capps' crew chief Ed McCulloch would step up their performance in the semifinals and that they also needed to better their previous round performance. Schumacher cut a better light than Capps but Schumacher overpower the track at about 400 feet and his loss of traction allowed Capps to advance to the final round.

Schumacher's 7.165 e.t. at 112.75 mph was his worst of the event, including qualifying.

"We knew Ed (McCulloch) would gamble and that we also needed to step up our performance," said crew chief Dan Olson, "we just got too greedy."

"I knew I had a good light and thought I was catching him," said Schumacher, "then the rpm's came up and he was gone."

"We'll save our victories for the points races," Schumacher added with a smile referring to his points battle with Gary Scelzi.

Schumacher and his teammates next stop is Denver, Colorado where they will start the week by visiting the Gates Belts and Hose corporate offices for a display and autograph session. Gates is a major supporter of the World Champion Exide Batteries Top Fuel team.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi