SCHUMACHER TO RACE FROM THE SIXTH STARTING SPOT BRAINERD, Minn., August 14, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took advantage of improved weather conditions during today's final two qualifying rounds to pilot the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster...
SCHUMACHER TO RACE FROM THE SIXTH STARTING SPOT
BRAINERD, Minn., August 14, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took advantage of improved weather conditions during today's final two qualifying rounds to pilot the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster into the sixth starting position for tomorrow's 29th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals here at Brainerd International Raceway.
The Chicago-area native's 3.888-second run at 300.73 miles per hour in today's first round enabled him to move up four spots from his Friday night result. He held sixth with a 3.922-second run at 286.98 mph during today's final session.
"We had two good runs and made it down both sides of the track, so we're in good shape for tomorrow," said the reigning and seven-time NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel Champion. "I must sound like a broken record when I say where we qualify doesn't concern me, but I mean it. It's about how we do in the race and how we do in the championship hunt; those are our goals.
"Finishing strong here in Brainerd and holding onto second place in the championship going into the Countdown to 1 playoffs is really important."
Brainerd is the final race of the regular season; the Countdown to 1 begins with the Labor Day weekend MAC Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. The drivers' regular-season championship points are reset for the playoffs, with the leader having a 30-point advantage over the driver in second. Each subsequent position is 10 points further from the lead.
Schumacher begins tomorrow's eliminations 29 points - two rounds - ahead of Cory McClenathan. Terry McMillen, 21 points out of the 10th and final playoff spot, will be Schumacher's first round opponent on the strength of a 3.994-second, 298.4-mph qualifying run.
"This should be a great first round," said Schumacher. "Terry and I are both racing for playoff positioning; something greater than a single-round win.
"And I'll go into that first round knowing Mike (crew chief Green) and the U.S. Army Team have given me a great car, one which can win. I rely completely on their skill and their commitment to our mutual mission, traits we share with the Army Strong men and women whose very lives are dependent upon their colleagues, on their operating as a smooth, well-oiled team."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, who moved up one spot in today's qualifying, will start tomorrow from the 8th position thanks to a 3.923-second lap at 302.62 mph. Brown, who drives the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, will face Morgan Lucas, who qualified 9th on a 3.927-second pass at 305.01 mph.