"The Sarge" will start from the third spot JOLIET, Ill., June 5, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher maintained the solid third starting position for the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster in Sunday's 13th Annual United Association Route 66 NHRA ...
"The Sarge" will start from the third spot
JOLIET, Ill., June 5, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher maintained the solid third starting position for the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster in Sunday's 13th Annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals during today's final two rounds of qualifying here at Route 66 Raceway.
The Chicago-area native's lone round - 3.841 seconds at 317.49 miles per hour - during Friday's rain-shortened program mitigated two tire-spinning runs today of 4.979 seconds at 142.76 mph and 6.638 seconds at 89.32 mph.
"This car is just inches away and we will find the answers," said the seven-time and reigning NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel champion. "Once we established our solid, top-of-the- field spot on Friday, we knew we could go out today and try to go fast. When you do that, you sometimes spin the tires.
"My guys, the U.S. Army team led by Mike (Green, crew chief), are the best and I am fully confident in them - and our results are the proof. Qualifying strong is great, but the goal is winning the race on Sunday and we have been very good at doing that lately."
Schumacher brings victories in two of the three last races of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, including the last one in Topeka, Kan. He will face Pat Dakin, who qualified 14th with a lap of 3.916 seconds at 311.85 mph, in Sunday's first round.
"Some teams would get down on themselves after a day like today," he said. "But how can we? We get our inspiration from the men and women who keep going, who keep the ultimate goal in sight regardless of the obstacles - the Army Strong soldiers who have much more difficult challenges than we could ever imagine. Thinking of them helps put everything into perspective.
"And like these brave warriors who understand the concept of not accepting defeat, we don't either."
Antron Brown, who drives the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, rose to the occasion in today's final round, producing a 3.872-second, 312.06-mph lap, which turned a not- in-the-field situation into an eighth starting spot (and a date with T.J. Zizzo in the race's first round who qualified ninth on a 3.874-second run at 311.27 mph).