SCHUMACHER COLLECTS NUMBER ONE SPOT POMONA, Calif., November 13, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, pocketed the number one starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's Auto Club...
SCHUMACHER COLLECTS NUMBER ONE SPOT
POMONA, Calif., November 13, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, pocketed the number one starting position here Saturday during final qualifying for tomorrow's Auto Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club Raceway. In the final qualifying session, Schumacher stopped the clock with a 3.794-second pass at 322.88 mph and in the process moved around point leader Larry Dixon for the top spot.
"What a great effort that was by my U.S. Army team," said the defending world champion. "We were actually trying to go out and set the elapsed time world record (which he owns at 3.771-seconds), but we came up a bit short. Tomorrow is another day."
Schumacher will head into race day 82 points behind Dixon in the standings. He will need for Dixon to lose in the first round, while he goes on to win the race and set the aforementioned record to win his seventh straight title.
"It's really out of our hands," he added. "If Dixon wins first round, it's all over. But, should he lose, the door will open for us. We'll just see what happens."
After banking his third pole of the year and 61st of his career, Schumacher set up an opening round meeting with 16th-place qualifier, Dominick Lagana, who he beat in the finals at Las Vegas two weeks ago.
"They gave us all we wanted in Las Vegas, so I'm confident they'll follow suit again on Sunday," said Schumacher. "We need to go out and take care of business, that's all there is to it. Again, we can't control what others do."
Dixon will take on 15th-place qualifier, Mike Strasburg, in the first round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT.
"That team clearly knows what it has to do to win the championship," said Schumacher.
"If they clinch it, I'll be the first to walk over and congratulate them."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, solidified his hold on the eighth starting spot with a 3.858-second run at 317.49 mph.
The New Jersey native, who is seeking his first victory of the year, will take on ninth- place qualifier, Steve Torrence, in the first round of action.