Don Schumacher Racing press release
SCHUMACHER JUMPS INTO SECOND
ENNIS, Texas, Sept. 23, 2011 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher secured the second starting spot here Friday during the opening day of qualifying for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
Dealing with a hot race track, Schumacher posted a 3.880-second pass at 315.27 miles per hour to fall in behind provisional-pole sitter Del Worsham.
"Since the temperatures are going to be even hotter over the next couple of days, we really needed to make the kind of run we did," said the seven-time world champion. "Now, tomorrow we'll come out and try to refine the tune up for race day. We need to make some noise here this weekend."
Schumacher, who is coming off a semifinal round appearance at zMAX Dragway, arrived in the Lone Star State holding fifth-place in the standings, 55 points removed from Antron Brown, his U.S. Army Racing/Don Schumacher Racing teammate, who took over first-place last weekend after capturing his sixth win of the season.
"We can't let Antron run away and hide," said Schumacher. "We have to start cutting into his lead this weekend and not let time pass us by. Yes, there are five races left in the season, but they are going to come and go pretty quickly."
Following the stop at the Texas Motorplex, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will head for Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. next weekend. That will mark the halfway point of the Countdown to the Championship.
"Again, it's imperative we have a productive race on Sunday," said the Chicago-area resident, who is seeking his first win of the 2011 campaign. "It's time for everything to fall right for us."
Brown's first work day as the new points leader did not go quite as planned. He had two tire-smoking runs which placed him 14th in the order and not qualified.
"The track was real tough out here today," said the New Jersey native. "We'll go back and look at the computer and see how we can best prepare for tomorrow and Sunday when it will be a little hotter. My guys will come back strong."