No Official Times for the "Sarge" Limited Field Assures Qualifying for Race COMMERCE, Ga., May 13, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher did not establish a qualifying position during today's first two rounds, but thanks to a field limited to 16 ...
No Official Times for the "Sarge"
Limited Field Assures Qualifying for Race
COMMERCE, Ga., May 13, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher did not establish a qualifying position during today's first two rounds, but thanks to a field limited to 16 cars, the driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster will qualify for Sunday's 30th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals here at Atlanta Dragway.
Too much power for a track with temperatures well above 100-degrees resulted in a tire-spinning 4.86-second run at 149.1 miles per hour in the second qualifying session. This pass would have been good enough for 13th position, but only the times of the first 12 qualifiers from Friday are recorded.
"We knew before the first session we would be in the show Sunday, so we tried a few things to test the limits of the track and the car in this heat," explained Schumacher. "We've got two rounds tomorrow to use what we learned today to get a good qualifying position, but I really don't care where we qualify and who I race on Sunday.
"Nobody wants to race against a good car in the first round Sunday, but everybody has a good car, so it doesn't really matter where you start."
The seven-time - six-consecutive - Top Fuel Champion also over powered the track and spun the tires in the first round on his way to a 6.659-second pass at 90.07 mph.
"Picking up some points from qualifying would be nice," said Schumacher. "But we, like our Army Strong Soldiers, have to concentrate on the success of the overall mission, without getting distracted by things which might jeopardize our goal. Our mission for this weekend is simple - to win the race."
For Schumacher, who won in St. Louis two weeks ago at the most recent race on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, winning in Atlanta would also represent a couple of significant milestones: this is one of two races the most successful Top Fuel Driver has not won (the other is the Topeka, Kan., event) and would be his 60th for the U.S. Army.
"Obviously, our goal always is to win," he said. "Winning here would be even sweeter." In U.S. Army NASCAR Sprint Cup action, Ryan Newman today qualified the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet sixth for Sunday's Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.