Denver: Tony Schumacher Friday notes

SCHUMACHER SECOND AFTER OPENING DAY OF ACTION MORRISON, Colo., July 11 - Driving his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher grabbed the second starting position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for the Mopar ...

SCHUMACHER SECOND AFTER OPENING DAY OF ACTION

MORRISON, Colo., July 11 - Driving his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher grabbed the second starting position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Schumacher laid down a 3.943-second pass at 307.16 mph to slide in behind his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan, in the order.

The Mopar Mile-High Nationals is the first event where the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes are racing to the 1,000 foot mark instead of the traditional quarter-mile. "I have to admit that it was an adjustment competing on a shorter track," said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion. "But, we'll get used to it real quick. Like I stated earlier this week, we needed to do this for safety reasons."

The NHRA recently instituted the track distance rule change in response to the ongoing investigation into the crash that took the life of Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta last month at Englishtown, N.J.

"From what I could see today, there was some outstanding racing going on," added the Chicago-area resident. "So, from that standpoint alone, racing to 1,000 feet should be terrific for the fans. We can't lose sight of the fact that this is entertainment."

Schumacher wants to start the second half of the 2008 season right where he left off at the end of the first half.

"Over the first 12 races, we won five and got to two other final rounds," he said. "If we can perform that well or even better the next 12 races, we should be in good shape to win another world title. Of course, that's always the objective for us."

He also wants to kick off the NHRA's "Western Swing" in grand style with a victory in the Mile High State. After the Colorado stop, the NHRA tour moves to Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. the next two weekends.

"In recent years, we've had some pretty good Western Swings," he offered. "Hopefully, we can maintain that level of consistency this year."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Don Schumacher