Schumacher qualifies No. 8 as he makes Championship run Baytown, TX (October 30) : Saturday: After finishing No. 7 during the first day of qualifying for the Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions, Tony Schumacher and Team...
Schumacher qualifies No. 8 as he makes Championship run
Baytown, TX (October 30) : Saturday: After finishing No. 7 during the first day of qualifying for the Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions, Tony Schumacher and Team Exide knew that rain might threaten during the second day of the Houston Raceway Park event. After an early morning shower delayed the third qualifying session, Top Fuel cars took to the lanes hoping to get a shot to improve their qualifying positions.
As the world's fastest dragster, tuned by crew chief Dan Olson, made it's first pass of the day down the quarter mile, it once again ran a consistent 4.647 e.t. at 317.19 mph. Good enough to hold on to the No. 9 spot, the Exide team was disappointed that they did not take advantage of a good track to get to the top half of the field.
"We are still too soft for the track," said Tony Schumacher, "it seems that it could take quite a bit more clutch. I am not worried, Dan has things under control."
The big surprise from the first Saturday session is that Joe Amato and Kenny Bernstein had yet to qualify for the race. This would change as both Top Fuel drivers used their last chances to make the 16-car field. Amato, the No. 6 qualifier, will face Bernstein, the No. 11 qualifier, in the first round of eliminations.
The last qualifying attempt of the event was the best for Team Exide as they posted a 4.605 e.t. at 323.27 mph. Looking at the incremental numbers for the session, Schumacher's dragster was one of the quickest in the last eighth mile. The pass was good enough to move them into the upper half of the field to the No. 8 spot.
Schumacher will face fellow Chicago area driver, Randy Parks in the first round of eliminations. Parks' qualifying effort was a 4.614 e.t. at 313.88 mph.
"We are running as well as we did last week," said Schumacher referring to his win in Dallas, "we just need to keep pace with Amato and run the track, not the guy in the other lane."
"We just don't want to do anything silly at this point in the season."
Other first round matchups include Doug Herbert against No. 1 qualifier, Mike Dunn. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11am Sunday with a 50% chance of rain in the forecast.