Houston Tony Schumacher No. 5 in Texas Showdown

Baytown, TX (April 14, 2000): Less than a week after leaving the inaugural national event in Las Vegas, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates were back it again as they ended the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston ...

Baytown, TX (April 14, 2000): Less than a week after leaving the inaugural national event in Las Vegas, Tony Schumacher and his Exide teammates were back it again as they ended the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in the No. 5 qualifying position.

In the opening round of qualifying, Schumacher was paired against former champion, Gary Scelzi, as they currently are No. 1 and No. 2 in NHRA Winston Championship points. Schumacher comes to this race with a nine point advantage over Scelzi.

Schumacher's opening pass of 4.704 seconds at 313.29 mph was good enough to put him No. 4 with one more attempt for the day. "That was a good one to get under our belt," said Schumacher, "the car went straight as an arrow."

The temperature was cooler than expected and it showed in the performance of the cars during the second session. Most teams stepped up their performances in the cool night air.

Team Exide also improved to a 4.659 et at 310.27 mph. The run was not good enough to improve their position and dropped them to the No. 5 spot with two more attempts on Saturday.

"We hoped to run a little quicker than that, but it was a good safe run," said Schumacher, "the most important thing is that we have a strong race day setup."

"The car moved to the left a little and I was fighting to get it back to the center of the track. The rpm's came up a little at the end of the track, like it wanted to drive through the clutch."

Team Exide will have two more qualifying attempts on Saturday to prepare for Sunday eliminations. Saturday qualifying is scheduled for noon and 4:00pm CST.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi