Seattle: Schumacher to face Grubnic in first round of eliminations

Kent, Wash. (July 29): Finishing the second day of qualifying for the Prolong Super Lubricants Nationals in the No. 6 qualifying spot, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates are looking to catch current NHRA Winston Top Fuel points ...

Kent, Wash. (July 29): Finishing the second day of qualifying for the Prolong Super Lubricants Nationals in the No. 6 qualifying spot, Tony Schumacher and his Exide Batteries teammates are looking to catch current NHRA Winston Top Fuel points leader Gary Scelzi, as they entered this event only 39 points back.

During the first run of the day Schumacher shut off his Exide Batteries dragster and coasted to a 5.383 e.t. at 182.43 mph.

"That run was my fault," said Schumacher, "I was trying something different when I was staging the car, then I didn't get the fuel pumps on at the right time."

"Instead of hurting the motor, I decided it was better to shut it down and look to the last run to get our race day setup."

That's exactly what the reigning Winston Championship team did as they came out in the heat of the afternoon and ran a 4.713 e.t. at 305.08 mph. That run was the third quickest of the final session behind Cory McClenathan's 4.702 second run and Joe Amato's 4.711 e.t..

Schumacher will face David Grubnic in the first round of eliminations. Grubnic qualified No. 11 with a 4.771 e.t. at 297.81 mph. With Scelzi on the top half of the ladder, Schumacher would not face him until the final round. Scelzi qualified in the No. 1 spot with a 4.652 e.t.

"Sure, we would like to see Gary go out early so we can gain more points on him, but it would also be nice to have him in the finals," said Schumacher with a grin.

Final eliminations are scheduled for 10am PT and will be televised on ESPN2. Check local listing for times.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , David Grubnic