Sears Point: Schumacher to start No. 9 at Autolite Nationals

Sonoma, Calif. (August 5): Reigning NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates will battle for the Fram Autolite Nationals title as qualifying ended and teams prepare for Sunday's final eliminations. Schumacher...

Sonoma, Calif. (August 5): Reigning NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates will battle for the Fram Autolite Nationals title as qualifying ended and teams prepare for Sunday's final eliminations.

Schumacher will start from the No. 9 spot and will face No. 8, Joe Amato in the first round of eliminations. Schumacher's day began with a failed third qualifying attempt that resulted in a 6.703 second run at 122.78 mph.

"We lost a magneto before half track," said Schumacher, "and I shut off so we wouldn't hurt anything else."

Facing their last attempt to improve their qualifying position, Team Exide was forced to run in the right lane which is considered the worse of the two. Schumacher was able to leg out a 4.857 e.t. at 300.93 mph, but fell to the No. 9 spot.

"We knew that we wouldn't run .60's in that lane," commented Schumacher while signing autographs in the pit afterwards, "but we thought we could run a little quicker."

"We ended up having another ignition problem."

With a first round victory, there it is very likely that he would face Gary Scelzi in round two. Scelzi is the No. 1 qualifier. "As far as points are concerned, it would allow us to control our own destiny if we get Gary tomorrow."

Final eliminations are scheduled for 11am and will be televised on ESPN2.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato