Infinenon Raceway Sears Point
Schumacher Records Fourth Pole Of The Year
U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher swiped his fourth pole of the season here Saturday during final qualifying for the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
Schumacher's Friday pass of 3.814-seconds at 321.65 miles per hour was never challenged during the last two rounds of qualifying and in the process he nailed his 65th career number one to go along with 67 career wins.
"Coming off our performance in Denver last weekend (a final round appearance), it's great to come in here and be the number one qualifier," said the seven-time world champion. "It means we are building some badly needed momentum. Now, we have to go out and take care of business tomorrow."
A two-time winner at Infineon Raceway, Schumacher is in hot pursuit of his first victory of the year. He's clearly looking for the dry spell to end on Sunday.
"That's the plan," he said. "We are paying tribute to the U.S. Army Medical Department this weekend, so it would be special if we can head into the winner's circle with them on race day. I can't tell you how hungry my team is to take home a trophy - I believe it's our time." Schumacher's first round opponent will be 16th-place qualifier, Steve Chrisman. It will be their first meeting of the year.
"The Chrisman name has been around NHRA drag racing for a lot of years," said the Chicago-area resident. "We are not going to take Steve and his team lightly. We have to go out and do the job that has been put in front of us."
Schumacher came into the 13th race of the season holding fifth in the Top Fuel standings. He trailed his U.S. Army Racing/DSR teammate, Antron Brown, by 23 points and Larry Dixon by 40 points.
"We would love to make up some ground here," he related. "There is no reason we can't move up a spot or two or more before we get to the Countdown to 1. We truly need to start our march forward right now."
Brown, aboard his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, finished up qualifying third in the order. He will face 14th-place qualifier, Ron August, Jr., in the opening round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT.
"We are starting to establish consistency, which I'm encouraged by," said the New Jersey native. "As always, we'll just go out tomorrow and do our thing. We want those four win lights."
By: don schumacher racing