Don Schumacher Racing press release
SCHUMACHER NUMBER ONE, BROWN 11TH FOR SECOND RACE OF COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
ENNIS, Texas, Sept. 24, 2011 - U.S. Army NHRA Racing Top Fuel drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher and Antron Brown will start from opposite sides of the final eliminations ladder here Sunday in the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
Schumacher grabbed the number one starting position following final qualifying on Saturday, while Brown, the current points leader, will come out of the 11th spot.
A seven-time world champion, Schumacher laid down a 3.863-second pass at 319.07 mph in session three to move around Friday's provisional pole sitter Del Worsham. It was his sixth pole of the season, the 67th of his career and his third at the Texas Motorplex.
"That was pretty impressive," said Schumacher, a five-time winner at the track located outside of Dallas. "Like yesterday, the track surface was fairly hot and tricky so for us to go out and put that kind of number up was just terrific. What a great job by Mike Green (his crew chief) and the guys. We definitely have a car to race with tomorrow."
Schumacher's first round opponent when the gun sounds at 11 a.m. CT will be 16th-place qualifier, Scott Palmer.
"He's the only guy we are concerned with at the moment," said the Chicago-area resident. "We have to approach tomorrow's opening round like we always do - with clear focus and determination. We are more than ready to win our first race of the season."
Schumacher, who has not been to the winner's circle since the 2010 fall Las Vegas race (a span of 18 consecutive races), would like to make a severe dent in his teammate's lead at the top of the standings.
"We sliced some points off during qualifying (the deficit went from 55 to 45 going into Sunday), so now we have to do some more damage tomorrow," said Schumacher. "We're in hot pursuit of another world championship."
After not getting down the track in clean fashion on Friday, Brown turned the tables on Saturday. In fact, he posted the third quickest pass in the last session - 3.947-seconds at 311.63 mph.
The New Jersey native will take on sixth-place qualifier, Doug Kalitta, in the first round of eliminations.
"I feel much better today than I did after yesterday, that's for sure," said Brown, who started the day not qualified. "It was hot and the track was once again a tough chore. But, we did what we had to do. We'll be ready to roll tomorrow."