SCHUMACHER POCKETS SECOND POLE OF THE YEAR
BAYTOWN, TEXAS, April 30, 2011 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher banked his second pole of the season here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
With humid conditions persisting, Schumacher's Friday pass of 3.817-seconds at 323.81 mph was never challenged over the last two sessions.
"We'll take it for sure," said Schumacher, who grabbed his 63rd career number one spot and his second at the track formerly known as Houston Raceway Park. "Now, we have to go out and get a win to back this effort up. It won't mean very much if we go out early." Schumacher, who is contending for his first victory of 2011, will take on 16th-place qualifier, Troy Buff, in the opening round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. CT. It will be their third meeting of the year.
"Even though we beat them on each previous occasion, you can never look past Troy and his team," offered the Chicago-area resident. "They will definitely keep you honest. If you make one little mistake, it will likely cost you big time."
In addition to the drive towards his first win of the season, Schumacher wants to make a move in the points this weekend. He will enter race day holding fourth-place behind Del Worsham, Larry Dixon and Antron Brown, respectively.
"A win can take care of a lot of things including the points and standings," said Schumacher. "But, let me stress that we're not looking beyond Troy Buff. That's the only round we're concerned with right now."
Brown, who is Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, claimed the fifth starting position on Saturday. He will confront 12th-place qualifier, Doug Foley, in the first round of action on Sunday.
A New Jersey native, Brown will be seeking his second win of the year. He captured the Las Vegas event earlier this month.
"The track was a bit challenging today, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow," said Brown. "I have all the confidence in the world in my Matco Tools/U.S. Army team. We'll be ready to go."