Columbus: Tony Schumacher to start No. 6 in Columbus

Columbus, Ohio (June 17): After two more sessions of qualifying for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway, Tony Schumacher and the Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster will start final eliminations from the No. 6 qualifying...

Columbus, Ohio (June 17): After two more sessions of qualifying for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway, Tony Schumacher and the Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster will start final eliminations from the No. 6 qualifying position.

In the first session of the day, Schumacher ran another conservative 3.709 e.t. at 311.05 mph and fell to the No. 5 qualifying spot. "The car really didn't run the number we expected," said Schumacher, "but we got down the track again."

"We were too soft again," added Schumacher, "we had a better 60 foot time, but we were just behind at the top end of the track."

After an extended cleanup period for an oil down, the final qualifying session resumed and Schumacher looked at one last chance to improve his position. The car left the starting line with an aggressive 60 foot time, but soon after lost all traction and Schumacher smoked his Goodyear tires.

He coasted down track to a 8.828 e.t. at 89.71 mph. Schumacher's previous best of 4.699 seconds was good enough to hold on to the No. 6 spot. He will face No. 11, Rhonda Hartman-Smith, who qualified with a 4.777 e.t. at 311.05 mph.

"If the weather holds out, there should be some good racing," said Schumacher, "there are several cars that could win this race tomorrow."

Final eliminations are scheduled for 11am.  ESPN2 will televise final 
eliminations.  Check local listings for times.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher