SCHUMACHER ROLLS INTO FIFTH SPOT INDIANAPOLIS, September 3, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher claimed the fifth starting position here Friday during the opening day of qualifying for the prestigious Mac Tools U.S.
SCHUMACHER ROLLS INTO FIFTH SPOT
INDIANAPOLIS, September 3, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher claimed the fifth starting position here Friday during the opening day of qualifying for the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
The seven-time world champion banked a 3.844-second pass at a track record 321.35 mph in his only scheduled 1,000-foot trip of the day. He has four more qualifying sessions on his plate over the next two days.
"It was a nice start for the U.S. Army team," said the Chicago-area resident. "We wanted to put down a clean lap and that's exactly what we got. We'll try to get after it even more the next couple of days."
Schumacher is in pursuit of his ninth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals title. Should he succeed come Monday afternoon, he'll pass "Big Daddy" Don Garlits on the all-time Top Fuel victory list.
"That would be fine with me," said Schumacher. "Beyond the record, a win would mean we've gotten off to a good start in the Countdown to 1."
Schumacher entered the first round of the playoffs holding third-place in the standings, 40 points behind leader Larry Dixon.
"We've reached the point in the season when it's time to bring your 'A' game every race," he said. "You can't afford to have a bad race the rest of the way. "
The U.S. Army team will be competing with a heavy heart throughout the weekend after the passing of Mike Green's mother, Joan Mitchell, Friday morning. Green tunes the U.S. Army dragster.
"Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike and his family," said Schumacher.
"We definitely want to bring home the winner's trophy on Monday for Mike and his mom."
Schumacher's U.S. Army teammate, Antron Brown, landed in the second starting slot after directing his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster to a 3.808-second run at 319.22 mph.