"THE SARGE" RETAINS TOP SPOT READING, Pa., August 16 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher claimed his sixth pole of the year here today following final qualifying for Sunday's Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove ...
"THE SARGE" RETAINS TOP SPOT
READING, Pa., August 16 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher claimed his sixth pole of the year here today following final qualifying for Sunday's Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Schumacher's 3.816-second pass from Friday night was good enough to earn him a second straight bye in the first round of eliminations on race day. The Chicago-area resident will get the winner of the Hillary Will-Brandon Bernstein first round match up in the quarterfinals.
"Like last weekend, it's nice that we were able to get the bye run," offered the five-time world champion. "But, just like we did in Brainerd (Minn.), we'll still have to go out and put up a good number even though we're not racing anyone. You always want lane choice in the next round."
This was Schumacher's 53rd career pole and his sixth at Maple Grove Raceway. On Sunday, he'll be seeking his fifth consecutive victory, which would tie his own record from 2005.
"We're not looking that far ahead, I can tell you," he added. "First and foremost, we're going to have to deal with a tough customer in either Hillary or Brandon. We better have our game faces on."
Should Schumacher grab his 10th win of the season it would tie a personal record from the 2004 campaign.
"Again, we're talking about numbers that will fall into place as long as we take care of business," he said. "As always, it will be a round at a time proposition for the U.S. Army team."
Schumacher entered the 17th event of the season holding a commanding lead in the standings. But, he knows that gap will close dramatically in just a few short weeks upon the start of the Countdown to One.
"We're definitely gearing up for the playoffs," he said. "However, we've got a couple of races to go before it all begins. Our goal is to go out and perform well here in Reading as well as in Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend."