SCHUMACHER TAKES FOURTH POLE OF THE SEASON KENT, Wash., July 19, 2008 - Tony "the Sarge" Schumacher today piloted his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster to the number-one qualifying position for tomorrow's 21st Annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA...
SCHUMACHER TAKES FOURTH POLE OF THE SEASON
KENT, Wash., July 19, 2008 - Tony "the Sarge" Schumacher today piloted his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster to the number-one qualifying position for tomorrow's 21st Annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals here at Pacific Raceway.
Schumacher, who came into this weekend leading the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship race, captured his fourth pole position of the 2008 season and 51st of his career. He recorded the quickest elapsed time in three of the four qualifying runs, with his 3. 802-second lap at 316.9 miles per hour in Friday's second round earning the top starting spot.
"But being number one doesn't mean anything tomorrow on race day, because there are no easy cars out there, no easy rounds," he said. "Like our soldiers around the world protecting our freedoms, we always have to stay focused, to stay on our game. We, like those brave men and women, cannot take anything for granted.
"Even that last run (4.927 seconds at 141.25 mph), where we smoked the tires, has a purpose," he explained. "The weather for that run was probably closer to what we will have tomorrow, so (crew chief) Alan (Johnson) wanted to find out what the track could take. He'll use the data from that round and figure out the best setup for Sunday."
The Chicago-area resident added a 3.809-second lap at 315.86 mph in today's first round under much more favorable weather conditions and a 3.821-second e.t. at 314.97 mph in Friday's initial lap during the two days of qualifying.
Schumacher's goal is to maintain his season-long strong performance and repeat his success at this event. He has won six of the first 13 races in 2008, including eight final rounds. In addition, he has been to the finals here the last four years, winning three of those races.
"I have no idea why we are so successful here," said the reigning and five-time NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Champion. "I'll just go to bed early tonight, take my vitamins when I get up tomorrow morning and then go racing!"