Ennis, TX (October 23): Solidly in the field after the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX, Tony Schumacher and Team Exide took advantage of the two Saturday qualifying sessions to work on...
Ennis, TX (October 23): Solidly in the field after the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX, Tony Schumacher and Team Exide took advantage of the two Saturday qualifying sessions to work on a potential race day setup.
After several oil-down delays, the Dan Olson-tuned dragster took to the track only to shake the tires and force Schumacher to shut down the car and coast to a 10.68 e.t. at 75.70 mph.
"Once we shook the tires, I knew we wouldn't run quicker than last night," said Schumacher, "I didn't want to hurt any parts, so I clicked it."
With 22 cars attempting to qualify for the 16 car field, Schumacher's 4.55 from Friday night kept him in the number two spot with one final run before eliminations on Sunday.
"We would like to back up our 326 (mph) from last night if we have the opportunity," said Schumacher referring to his chance to set a new national mph record, "but our job this weekend is to go rounds and win this race."
Cooler temperatures again prevailed for the second session of the day as Schumacher prepared to defend his second place position and attempt for the number one spot. As he rolled into the staging lights, glare from the setting sun caused difficulty for Schumacher in seeing his lights causing him to stage deeper than he had wanted. The Exide dragster was able to run 4.624 e.t. at 318.24 mph. "It was a better run than the numbers show," said crew chief Dan Olson, "Tony was just in a little too deep."
Finishing in the No. 2 spot pits Schumacher against Don Lampus who ran several consistent runs during qualifying. Other notable first-round matchups include Larry Dixon and Kenny Bernstein, as well as Gary Scelzi and Doug Kalitta. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11AM on Sunday morning.