Schumacher prepares to defend points lead for second event Park Ridge, IL (September 28): As teams reach the final five races of the 1999 NHRA Winston drag race season they tend to look at where they have been during the course of the season and...
Schumacher prepares to defend points lead for second event
Park Ridge, IL (September 28): As teams reach the final five races of the 1999 NHRA Winston drag race season they tend to look at where they have been during the course of the season and what is left to accomplish. For the Top Fuel teams headed to the Advance Auto Parts Nationals, September 30-October 3, in Topeka, KS, many have their sights set on the Championship trophy with the Winston points battle far from over.
Tony Schumacher and Team Exide are no exception as they prepare to defend the points lead for the second straight event after they took that lead at the U.S. Nationals. For a team that has only been in existence for a little over a year, this is a major accomplishment, but no surprise, inspite of not posting a victory this year.
"We knew we had a championship caliber team when we put this deal together," said team owner, Don Schumacher, "we have run consistent all year and have earned our spot in first."
"If you look at the points from the last several races, we had been gradually gaining each event," said Tony Schumacher, "now we need to keep going rounds and try to put some distance on the field."
Driver Tony Schumacher is exactly right, as the Exide team will have to try to outpace several fellow competitors with less than 100 points separating the top six drivers and with available Winston points waning as the season come to a close. Schumacher and company are more than ready for the final push for a championship as the have had much success earlier this year at three of the final remaining tracks.
"We went to the semifinals in Pomona and Dallas," said Schumacher, "and we would love a chance to go to the finals again in Houston. Dan (Olson-Crew Chief) knows how to get cars down the track at these events."
Now that he has experienced the feeling of being the Winston pointer leader, don't look for young Schumacher to give it up easily.
"It's a great feeling for me and the whole team to be in this position," said Schumacher, "this is what we all work so hard for and we love it for Exide and all of our other sponsors."
Asked about the pressure of being number one, Schumacher commented, "There's no additional pressure on me as a driver, my job is to go out and win each round regardless of what position we are in points."
Top Fuel qualifying is scheduled for Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2. Final Eliminations are scheduled to begin Sunday, October 3 at 11:00am. Check local listings for television coverage and times.