Tony Schumacher takes points lead to Englishtown

Park Ridge, IL.: After appearing in his fifth final round of the year, Tony Schumacher and teammates take their NHRA Winston Championship points lead east to Englishtown's Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, for the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring...

Park Ridge, IL.: After appearing in his fifth final round of the year, Tony Schumacher and teammates take their NHRA Winston Championship points lead east to Englishtown's Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, for the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions.

As a part of the Matco Team, Schumacher would love to capture his second victory of the year for one of his sponsors. "It would awesome to win the Matco race," said Schumacher, "they are a really great sponsor to have and support us in every way possible."

"It would be even better if we beat the other Matco-sponsored dragster in the finals," said Schumacher with a grin, referring to fellow Matco driver, Gary Scelzi.

Schumacher carries a 25 point lead over Scelzi and has no plans on giving that up without a fight. Schumacher is 2-2 against Scelzi this season with both victories in the semifinals and both losses in the finals.

"It's going to be brutal if anyone want's to take the title away from us, especially Gary (Scelzi). I am going to tell you that we are not going to rest on our laurels. We plan on keeping this title and that mean you have to go rounds."

Last year, the young Exide team was ousted in the first round by Eddie Hill in his bright yellow Pennzoil dragster. That was one of only three, first round losses by Schumacher in 1999. Using consistency to win a championship last year, Team Exide has continued its ways and has no first round losses as they attempt to repeat as NHRA Winston Top Fuel Champions.

"There are great rivalries in every sport. I think you will see more and more intense racing among teams in Top Fuel as the season progresses and people start to separate from the rest of the field. This will be an emotional year for a lot of people."

Qualifying for the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions is scheduled for Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20. Finals eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, May 21. ESPN2 will televise qualifying highlights and final eliminations. Check local listings for times.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher