SCHUMACHER SETTLES INTO FIFTH
CONCORD, N.C., April 15, 2011 - Driving the U.S. Army Reserve Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped into the fifth starting position here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Schumacher posted a 3.853-second pass at 320.89 mph in the second session which allowed him to hold a top-five standing heading into the final day of qualifying on Saturday.
"With the weather predicted to be pretty nasty tomorrow, we needed to make sure we got down the track and safely into the show," said the seven-time world champion. "If we do get in a session or two tomorrow, we'll certainly attempt to step it up."
Thus far in 2011, Schumacher has not qualified out of the top five. He's looking to collect his first win of the year and the 68th of his career.
"We're getting real close," said Schumacher in reference to a trip to winner's circle. "We're definitely going to try and finish the job here in Charlotte."
Schumacher will have to deal with racing against three other competitors in each round on Sunday if he is to take home the trophy.
"This is the second year we're doing this, so I'm more comfortable out there," he offered. "It has to be a tremendous rush for the fans with 32,000-horsepower taking off at the same time."
Doug Kalitta claimed the provisional pole and was joined by Larry Dixon, Del Worsham, Brandon Bernstein and Schumacher in the top five.
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, recorded a 3.864-second run at 316.15 mph to nail the seventh starting spot in the order.
Brown, a New Jersey native, is coming off his first victory of the year in Las Vegas two weeks ago.