St. Louis: Tony Schumacher Friday notes

SCHUMACHER HOLDS THIRD SPOT MADISON, Ill., May 2 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, vaulted into the third starting spot after the first day of qualifying here Friday for the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway ...

SCHUMACHER HOLDS THIRD SPOT

MADISON, Ill., May 2 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, vaulted into the third starting spot after the first day of qualifying here Friday for the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

The Top Fuel point leader used a 4.536-second quarter-mile trip at 325.37 mph in round two to lock up a top five position going into final qualifying on Saturday.

"As usual, it was a nice job by the U.S. Army team," said the defending world champion. "We didn't get down the track in that first session, but we certainly came back real strong once the sun went down."

After advancing to the finals at Atlanta Dragway last Sunday, Schumacher has his sights set on victory lane this weekend.

"You can count on that," he added. "We love walking home on Sundays with the big trophy. Of course, winning also solidifies our standing in the points."

Schumacher entered the seventh event of the year with a 26-point lead on second- place, Antron Brown, who is his former U.S. Army Racing teammate.

"The big thing right now is for us to keep running consistently," he said. "It's all about building up a head of steam as we near the second phase of the Countdown to the Championship (the Countdown to One which begins in Charlotte, N.C. the middle of September). When you get to that part in the season, that's when crunch time arrives.

And, we want to be prepared as we can get for the playoffs." Of immediate concern is for Schumacher to claim his second victory at Gateway International Raceway.

"It took a while to get the first win out here (in 2006)," he said. "We definitely don't want to wait another 10 years for the second one."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher