SCHUMACHER NINTH FOLLOWING FIRST DAY OF ACTION
COMMERCE, Ga., May 13, 2011 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, settled into the ninth starting position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Schumacher's afternoon run of 3.920-seconds at 311.92 mph kept him just out of the top half of the field going into Saturday's final two sessions.
"It was a safe pass," said Schumacher. "With rain expected here tomorrow, we had to make sure we got down the track and into the show. You definitely don't want to take any chances when the weather might be a factor on Saturday."
Knowing he was solidly in the field, Schumacher's crew chief, Mike Green, took a shot at the provisional pole in round two, but the U.S. Army dragster spun the tires forcing Schumacher to shut the engine off.
"I'm glad we went for it right there," said Schumacher. "There is no reason not to do that. Now, should we run tomorrow, we're going to go out and try to improve for sure. We would like to get into the top half so we can have lane choice."
This weekend, Schumacher is trying to land his first career win at Atlanta Dragway. It's the only track on the schedule where he has failed to collect a win.
"I have my eraser handy," he offered. "I'm more than ready to take it off the list. Perhaps, this will be our year."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, grabbed the fifth starting spot during opening day.
The New Jersey native, in his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, used a 3.906-second pass at 313.15 mph to move in behind his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey, Del Worsham, Brandon Bernstein and Clay Millican, respectively, in the lineup.