SCHUMACHER HOLDS ON TO TOP SPOT BRAINERD, Minn., August 9 -Â U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, retained the number one starting position here today following final qualifying for Sunday's Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd ...
SCHUMACHER HOLDS ON TO TOP SPOT
BRAINERD, Minn., August 9 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, retained the number one starting position here today following final qualifying for Sunday's Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Schumacher's 3.864-second pass from Friday was never challenged during Saturday's action and as a result he claimed a first round bye for race day.
"That's big for us to be able to go into Sunday knowing we're already advancing to the second round," said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion. "Of course, despite not having an opponent in the other lane, we'll still have to go out and run as quick as possible so we can have lane choice in the next round."
The Chicago-area resident will face the winner of the Rod Fuller-Brandon Bernstein match up in the quarterfinals.
"We've had some tough battles with both of those guys this year," he offered. "Like always, we'll have to put forth our best effort if we're going to move on."
For Schumacher, this was his fourth straight pole at Brainerd International Raceway. He now has five poles for the season and 52 career poles.
"Over the years, this has been a good track for us," he said. "With some hard work tomorrow, perhaps, we can chalk up win number three here in Minnesota."
Schumacher is also looking to secure career victory number 50, which would place him two wins short of Joe Amato's Top Fuel career victory mark.
"I'm still amazed that we're within reach of such a record," he said. "I'm thankful every day that I have the kind of team that I have around me."
Additionally, with eight wins to date in 2008, Schumacher could be headed for a Top Fuel single season victory record. He previously set the bar at 10 wins in 2004.
"We'll see what happens," he added. "I can tell you that we won't look beyond the immediate objective which is to win the second round tomorrow. As I always emphasize, statistics have a way of taking care of themselves."