SCHUMACHER REMAINS THIRD MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 3 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher secured the third starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis...
SCHUMACHER REMAINS THIRD
MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 3 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher secured the third starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Schumacher will take on 14th-place qualifier, Terry Haddock, in the opening round of final eliminations on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. CT. It was Haddock who dealt Schumacher his only first round loss of the season back in June at Joliet, Ill.
"We will be ready for him," said the defending O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals champion. "Terry has had some engine woes this weekend, but I'm sure he'll try to put everything back together again in an effort to knock us off. We'll be expecting his best shot."
On race day, Schumacher will be attempting to collect his second straight victory, while also trying to widen his points lead. He began the weekend 27 points up on second- place Larry Dixon.
"We have to be machine-like tomorrow," he added. "We'll go up to the line against Terry and act as if it's the final round and everything is hanging in the balance. That's the only way you can approach things at this point in the season."
Only 16 rounds of racing (four races) remain in the 2009 season and the Countdown to 1, so Schumacher knows he has to grab as many as he can get his hands on in order to win his sixth consecutive world championship.
"That's the deal for sure," he said. "The more rounds you take the less there are for everyone else. That's just the simple way to look at it. So, we'd like to go out tomorrow and chalk up another four rounds."
Schumacher's qualifying effort in Memphis just might offer a sign of things to come. In three of his five wins this year, he has come out of the third starting spot.
"That's pretty interesting," he said. "But, I'm not going to get caught up in that statistic. Regardless of where you start on Sunday, you have to go out and beat all comers if you want to take home the trophy."