Mohnton, Pa (Sept. 17): After claiming his second pole position of the year and his career, Tony Schumacher's disappointing second round loss combined with Gary Scelzi's runner-up finish dropped the reigning Winston Top Fuel champion to second...
Mohnton, Pa (Sept. 17): After claiming his second pole position of the year and his career, Tony Schumacher's disappointing second round loss combined with Gary Scelzi's runner-up finish dropped the reigning Winston Top Fuel champion to second in points.
Schumacher started the day by dodging a bullet as his Army dragster smoked the tires. Schumacher was able to recover and defeat Bobby Lagana with a 6.473 second e.t..
"We didn't expect that," said Schumacher of the tire smoke, "in these things anything can happen, so as a driver you better be prepared."
Schumacher would face Bob Vandergriff in the second round and was able to keep lane choice because of an oil-down penalty by Vandergriff in round one. Schumacher had a .506 reaction time with a 4.657 e.t. to Vandergriff's .480 and 4.683 second pass to give each of the drivers a combined time of 5.163 seconds. The official timing computer determined that Vandergriff won the race by less than .001 seconds in this virtual dead heat.
"That's a tough one to lose," said Schumacher, "as the driver, I say to take the responsibility for that one. The guys definitely gave me the better car."
Schumacher had to sit the rest of the day to see what second place, Gary Scelzi would do as he chased Schumacher for the point's lead.
"It's tough to sit and watch knowing that we are running out of races," said Schumacher.
Scelzi's loss in the finals to Joe Amato kept him from his seventh win of the season and helped Schumacher stay only 8 points behind Scelzi with five races to finish the 2000 season.
"We all knew it would come down to the end of the season again," said Schumacher, "it's a long way from over."
The NHRA Winston tour returns to action at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Topeka, Kansas September 28 - October 1.