Sonoma: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

SCHUMACHER ENDS UP SECOND SONOMA, Calif., July 26 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will come out of the second starting position here Sunday in the FRAM- Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway. Having to deal with...

SCHUMACHER ENDS UP SECOND

SONOMA, Calif., July 26 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will come out of the second starting position here Sunday in the FRAM- Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

Having to deal with warm, windy conditions during final qualifying, the defending NHRA POWERade world champion could not improve upon his 3.813-second pass from Friday.

"It was definitely more challenging today than yesterday," said Schumacher. "We did manage to record the quickest pass in the last session (3.908-seconds), which was terrific. We'll be ready come tomorrow."

Schumacher's first round opponent on race day will be 15th-place qualifier, Doug Kalitta.

"Man, we better prepare for a real war with Kalitta," offered the Chicago-area resident. "They've been struggling of late, but we know they're quite capable of turning things around in a hurry. We hope they don't wake up against us."

Schumacher is also well aware of Kalitta's success rate at Infineon Raceway. He's a five-time winner at the track located in the heart of Wine Country.

"He's clearly owned this place over the years," added Schumacher. "But, we were able to break through ourselves here last year. I'm confident it will be an intense match up."

After two straight wins in Denver and Seattle, Schumacher will be going for the "Western Swing" sweep on Sunday. The only other drivers to previously accomplish that feat were Joe Amato, Cory McClenathan, John Force, Larry Dixon and Greg Anderson.

"We're going to take our best shot, that's for sure," he said. "But, we're not going to get caught looking ahead. Doug Kalitta and his team are tough customers. Round one is our only concern right now."

Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. PDT.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Cory McClenathan