SCHUMACHER POCKETS SEVENTH STARTING POSITION SONOMA, Calif., July 17, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took the seventh starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the FRAM- Autolite Nationals at Infineon...
SCHUMACHER POCKETS SEVENTH STARTING POSITION
SONOMA, Calif., July 17, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took the seventh starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the FRAM- Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
The Chicago-area resident banked a respectable 3.930-second run at 305.98 mph in the last qualifying session, but was still pushed from fifth to seventh in the race day order.
"That's not where we wanted to end up, but we'll be fine just the same," said the defending world champion. "We're starting from the top half of the field which means we have lane choice for the first round. That's always a good thing to have."
Schumacher's opening round opponent on Sunday will be 10th-place qualifier, Morgan Lucas, who he's met just once this season. En route to his fourth win of the year, he beat Lucas in the second round at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway last month.
"They have a good team over there, so we have to be on our toes," said Schumacher. "Morgan also continues to improve as a driver. There's no question we'll have to be ready for them."
Schumacher, who captured wins at Infineon Raceway in 2007 and 2008, would like to begin gathering momentum this weekend as the Countdown to 1 looms on the horizon during Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis.
"That's what we are trying to do," he said. "We'd love to get a win or two or three before we tackle the playoffs. We want to go in on a high note."
Antron Brown, who pilots the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, secured the second starting position after three rounds of qualifying. It's his fifth straight top-five qualifying effort.
Brown, who has five final round appearances to his credit this year, will face off with 15th-place qualifier, Terry McMillen, in the first round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT. He's beaten McMillen twice in 2010.
The New Jersey native is the defending FRAM-Autolite Nationals event champion. Last season, he swept the NHRA's Western Swing which includes stops in Seattle, Sonoma and Denver.