Schmacher first on Friday

Commerce, Georgia (May 4): A year ago at the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was the runner-up of the event, losing to Gary Scelzi in the finals. "The Sarge" hopes that his final round appearance last week in ...

Commerce, Georgia (May 4): A year ago at the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was the runner-up of the event, losing to Gary Scelzi in the finals. "The Sarge" hopes that his final round appearance last week in Bristol, along with the vigorous testing schedule the U.S. Army team has undertaken will propel them to their first win of the 2001 NHRA season.

Schumacher opened the first round of qualifying with a tire smoking launch under the hot Georgia sun. "The Sarge" coasted down the track with a 10.825 et.

"We were really close to making it without the tires smoke," said Schumacher. "Just a little too much too early."

In the evening session, Schumacher placed himself solidly in the 16-car field by running a 4.692 at 319.90 mph. That run was good enough to end the day as the No. 7 qualifier.

"We left a lot on the table with that run," said Schumacher, "the car was really pulling the last half of the track but we could have been better on the first 1/8 mile."

"It was a good first day for us all around," commented Schumacher. "We had about 1500 kids at the Army Y. E. S. program this morning and that started everything on the right foot."

Schumacher will have two more attempts to work on their race day setup on Saturday will qualifying sessions at 11:45 AM and 3:00 PM.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi