Houston: Schumacher 8th after first day

Baytown, Texas (March 23): Looking for his first win of the 2001 season, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher finished the first day of qualifying at the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in the No. 8 qualifying position. Schumacher's first run...

Baytown, Texas (March 23): Looking for his first win of the 2001 season, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher finished the first day of qualifying at the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in the No. 8 qualifying position.

Schumacher's first run of the day yielded a 4.682 e.t. at 317.12 mph. That was good enough to put him in the No. 6 spot after the first session.

"We were really soft on that pass," said "The Sarge." "We have been having some trouble, so we just needed to get down the track."

Schumacher's final attempt of the evening was a slight improvement with a 4.650 e.t. at 311.34 mph. Schumacher will start the second day of qualifying from the No. 8 position and will try to climb higher into the top half of the field.

"The car was on a better pass than that," said Schumacher, "we hurt the blower so we were able to go as quick as we wanted to."

"The Sarge" will have to more qualifying runs in preparation for Sunday's Final Eliminations.

-Mike DeLille

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Series NHRA