Denver, CO (July 14): The first day of racing at Bandimere Speedway's mountainside quarter mile, home of the Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals, ended with the reigning NHRA Winston Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher, as the No. 4 ...
Denver, CO (July 14): The first day of racing at Bandimere Speedway's mountainside quarter mile, home of the Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals, ended with the reigning NHRA Winston Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher, as the No. 4 qualifier.
The Denver area track is known for tricky conditions caused by the high altitude and require the best tune-up teams have in their books. The Schumacher Top Fuel dragster, tuned by Dan Olson, was in the last pair of cars to end the first session of the day. Schumacher raced down the track side-by-side with Gary Scelzi to edge him for the No. 1 spot with a 4.813 e.t. at 299.20 mph.
"That was a great run for the conditions," said Schumacher, "we really needed to get down the track on the first pass to put our tune-up on track for the weekend."
"Dan Olson is the best in the business on tricky race tracks."
The evening session saw much cooler temperatures and provided the possibility for much improvement in e.t.'s. Many cars had trouble negotiating the right lane, which Schumacher was lined up in. Schumacher's car looked to be on a good pass when he had to abort his run as he started to smoke his tires. He coasted to a 6.004 e.t. and fell to the No. 4 spot.
"We knew that lane (right) was suspect" said team owner, Don Schumacher, "it's a shame we didn't give the fans a better show."
The Schumacher team will be hosting several Gates Rubber Company employees and customers over the weekend. Gates corporate headquarters are located in Denver. "We wish we could have held on to the No. 1 spot for all our guests," said Schumacher, "but there is always raceday."
Qualifying for the Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals continues Saturday with two additional qualifying sessions scheduled for noon and 4pm MT. Qualifying will be televised on ESPN2. Check local listings for times.