"THE SARGE" TO COME OUT OF FIFTH STARTING SPOT CONCORD, N.C., September 18, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will start from the fifth starting position in Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals here at zMAX ...
"THE SARGE" TO COME OUT OF FIFTH STARTING SPOT
CONCORD, N.C., September 18, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will start from the fifth starting position in Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals here at zMAX Dragway.
Dealing with a hot race track during final qualifying, Schumacher posted two solid passes but was unable to move up in the final race day order.
"There was no way we were going to get the pole today given the air temperature," said Schumacher. "We were intent on working on our race day set up since the weather is going to be about the same tomorrow. I believe we're in good shape for Sunday."
Schumacher will confront 12th-place qualifier, Doug Herbert, in the opening round of final eliminations beginning at 12 noon ET. In their only meeting to date this season, Schumacher took out Herbert in the first round at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway in June, which was the former's most recent event victory.
"We're going to be prepared for anything Doug gives us," offered Schumacher. "We can't afford to get caught looking ahead or else we're going to go home early." Schumacher will be looking to cut into Larry Dixon's points lead with a stellar effort in round two of the Countdown to 1.
"That's a must have deal," said Schumacher. "To be honest, we need a win in the worst way. There's no reason we can't take care of that tomorrow."
Following the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals, only four races will remain in the NHRA's playoffs. Hence, Schumacher knows time is of the essence.
"The clock is definitely ticking for us," he said. "There's no room for error anymore. We need to start piling up the rounds and points."
While Schumacher solidified his race day standing, so did his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, who held on to the second starting spot.
The driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster will face off with 15th-place qualifier, Troy Buff, in the first round of action. Brown lost to Buff in the first round at Firebird International Raceway back in February.