Columbus: Tony Schumacher No. 3 after rain cancels Day one

Columbus, OH (June 16): With the threat of rain weighing heavy on everyone's mind, Day one of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at the NHRA's National Trail Raceway got under way. Reigning NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide...

Columbus, OH (June 16): With the threat of rain weighing heavy on everyone's mind, Day one of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at the NHRA's National Trail Raceway got under way. Reigning NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates knew each pass down the track would be especially important, not knowing if they would get the normal four qualifying attempts.

In the first session of the afternoon, Schumacher paired up with Kenny Bernstein. Schumacher's Exide Batteries dragster left the starting line hard and continued under full power down track to a 4.699 e.t. at 311.63 mph. That was good enough for the No. 3 qualifying position, behind Gary Scelzi and Joe Amato.

"We really wanted to just get from point A to point B," said crew chief Dan Olson, "we had the car real soft and we ran the number we needed to run."

As the day wore on, the threat of rain greatly increased. Only an hour before the scheduled start of the second session of fuel qualifying, the skies opened and heavy rain and thunderstorms forced NHRA officials to cancel to remaining events of the day.

"We are solidly in the field. Now we can work on our race setup without having to worry as much about the weather on Saturday," said Schumacher. The local forecast calls for more thunderstorms on Saturday.

Top Fuel qualifying is scheduled for 12pm and 4pm.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi