SCHUMACHER, WORSHAM, LINE AND HINES LEAD QUALIFYING AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS Spectacular Worsham crash closes second day qualifying at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona POMONA, Calif. -- Tony Schumacher led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Auto...
SCHUMACHER, WORSHAM, LINE AND HINES LEAD QUALIFYING AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
Spectacular Worsham crash closes second day qualifying at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
POMONA, Calif. -- Tony Schumacher led Top Fuel qualifying Friday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Schumacher followed Thursday's 4.490-second pass with a 4.506 to maintain the No. 1 position in the provisional field at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Del Worsham, Jason Line and Andrew Hines also were qualifying leaders in their categories at the final of 23 races in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Schumacher didn't run quicker on Friday than his opening pass of 4.490 at 328.54 mph in his U.S. Army dragster, but his 4.506 Friday afternoon on a hot racetrack was impressive, especially since fellow championship contenders Doug Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein's dragsters lost traction during their attempts. Bernstein is now third with his 4.519 at 330.47 mph, while Kalitta fell to sixth with a 4.546 at 326.87 mph.
"Top Fuel running before Funny car definitely hurt us today because it was warmer," Schumacher said. "Tomorrow night we'll make that last pass in the dark and we will try our best to set that record."
Worsham retained the Funny Car lead with his previous pass of 4.712 seconds but was involved in a spectacular crash Friday. His Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Monte Carlo's engine exploded and the car went out of control and flipped into the sand traps at the end of the track's shutdown area. He emerged from his car under his own power, but as a precaution he was transported to a local hospital for observation.
"I'm sore, but I'm more bummed than hurt," Worsham said. "It just blew up down there and there was no way for me to get my hand to the parachute lever, so I was along for the ride. When it finally stopped tumbling, I just got out and walked away from it, already mad about what had happened. Here we are, still the No. 1 qualifier and we're running great, and this has to happen. I know the team is already preparing the back-up car, so we'll just have to see how I feel."
Newly-crowned Pro Stock champion Line raced past Thursday leader Greg Anderson with a run of 6.667 seconds at 207.21 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO.
"My job this weekend is to have fun and enjoy everything, at least that's what I've told myself," Line said. "The championship has been decided and it's time to enjoy it. I have a lot of family and friends here and it's just turned into a big celebration. It's fun to be able to race without the pressure we've been under."
Hines still has the quickest Pro Stock Motorcycle on the property as he posted another 7.020 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, this one at 190.27 mph, to maintain the provisional pole at the midway point of qualifying.
"One of our goals this weekend was to be as consistent as possible in qualifying," Hines said. "We ran two 7.020s so far so you can't get any more consistent than that. We really want to earn as many points as possible in qualifying, both for the Full Throttle (pit crew challenge award) and the championship."
Qualifying continues at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.