Pomona: Schumacher sixth after first day

Pomona, Calif. (Feb. 1): After spending the winter fully recovering from his late 2000 season injuries, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took to the historic Pomona Raceway quarter-mile to begin his quest for his second Winston Top Fuel ...

Pomona, Calif. (Feb. 1): After spending the winter fully recovering from his late 2000 season injuries, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took to the historic Pomona Raceway quarter-mile to begin his quest for his second Winston Top Fuel championship.

Schumacher ended the first day of qualifying of the 41st annual AutoZone Winternationals by putting his Army Top Fuel dragster in the No. 6 position. After building a new car and only making half track runs in preseason testing, "The Sarge" used the first session to make his first full pass since racing at the World Finals last November. Schumacher finished second to Gary Scelzi at the final event of the 2000 season.

"I just got the screws out of my leg last week and everything feels great," said Schumacher as he prepared to suit up for the first official run of the 2001, 24 race season, "we have a new car, a driver that is fully healed and a team that is ready to win some races."

Paired against 2000 Champion, Gary Scelzi, Schumacher made a respectable pass of 4.701 seconds at 303.37 mph. "The run was nice and straight," said "The Sarge", "we would have been a little quicker, but we put out a cylinder at 4 seconds into the run."

Crew Chief, Dan Olson added, "We wanted to make a good solid pass, so we can get after it on Saturday during the Big Bud Shootout."

The Pro classes will continue qualifying with one more session on Friday afternoon and two final sessions on Saturday as they prepare for Sunday's Final Eliminations.

-Mike DeLille

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi