St. Louis: Tony Schumacher Saturday notes

"THE SARGE" MOVES UP TO SECOND STARTING POSITION MADISON, Ill., May 3 - Handling the controls of his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher slid into the second starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for...

"THE SARGE" MOVES UP TO SECOND STARTING POSITION

MADISON, Ill., May 3 - Handling the controls of his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher slid into the second starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Riding a couple of 4.49-second passes, Schumacher moved from third in the order to second which earned him a first round match up with 15th-place qualifier, Morgan Lucas.

This will be the second straight race that Schumacher and Lucas have met in the opening round of eliminations. On the way to a final round appearance at Atlanta Dragway last Sunday, Schumacher beat Lucas.

"Morgan is a terrific driver with a terrific team, so we better be ready to rock," said the defending world champion. "Alan Johnson (his crew chief) really has this U.S. Army dragster humming right now, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Schumacher has now recorded six top five starting spots in seven races. On Sunday, he'll shooting for his third win of the year and the 44th national event title of his career.

"I like our chances," he added. "We've been getting down the track with regularity which is great. You always want to avoid beating yourself in this sport." Should Schumacher run the table in the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, he would then need just two more round wins to reach the coveted 400 round win mark.

"To be honest, that's something I wasn't aware of," he said. "As everyone knows, I'm not one for individual statistics. I'm a team guy all the way. We're one group of guys who win or lose together."

ESPN2 will offer three hours of tape-delayed coverage of the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals on Sunday beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher