Schumacher Settles Into Eighth
Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, claimed the eighth starting spot during final qualifying here Saturday for the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
The Chicago-area resident managed to improve upon his time from Friday with a 3.887- second run at 318.92 mph, but was still pushed down a position in the Sunday lineup.
Schumacher will face off with ninth-place qualifier, Shawn Langdon, in the opening round of eliminations beginning at noon ET. They will likely be the first pair of race cars out on the race track.
"That's all right - we'll be ready to go come tomorrow," said the four-time Bristol event champion. "It's going to be a tough round with Shawn, but I guarantee you we are going to be Army Strong. We are focused on getting that first victory of the year.
"With this being the U.S. Army's birthday week, it's important we go out and have a productive day. We want to give our Soldiers a present they won't forget."
Schumacher arrived in Thunder Valley holding fourth-place in the points. He knows a good result on race day can help cut into Del Worsham's lead at the top of the pack.
"As always, the points are going to take care of themselves," he said. "We just need to take home that first trophy of the season. That would get us pointed in the right direction."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, finished qualifying in the fifth position which created a match up with 12th-place qualifier, Bob Vandergriff.
"Unfortunately, we lost the last round of qualifying when the weather conditions were right for us to move up," said the New Jersey native. "We broke the throttle cable at the hit and didn't get off the starting line. The good news is that it didn't happen on Sunday. We'll get it fixed and be prepared for tomorrow."
Brown, who entered the ninth race of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series fifth in the standings, will be looking for his third win of the year.