SCHUMACHER MOVES UP TO FIFTH
COMMERCE, Ga., - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher jumped up to the fifth starting spot here Saturday during final qualifying for the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
After departing the track on Friday holding ninth-place in the order, Schumacher used a 3.892-second run at 315.64 mph to comfortably move into the top half of the field. It is the sixth straight race Schumacher has been among the top five.
"It was nice the weather held out today giving us the opportunity to improve," said the Chicago-area resident. "We went out and attacked the track and got the results we needed and wanted."
Schumacher's first round opponent on Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. ET , will be 12th- place qualifier, Ike Maier. It will be their first-ever meeting.
"I don't know a lot about him or his team, but we'll be focused on the job at hand," said the seven-time world champion. "We want to get our first victory of the season here tomorrow. It's time we start moving forward."
Schumacher, who has one final round to his credit so far this year, will also be looking to collect his first career victory at Atlanta Dragway on Sunday.
"That would be great," he said. "We're not going to leave anything on the table tomorrow, that's for certain."
While Schumacher advanced in the lineup for race day, his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, was pushed from fifth-place to seventh-place. The New Jersey native will take on 10th-place qualifier, David Grubnic, in the opening round of final eliminations.
"Tomorrow is a new day," said Brown. "And, we will race it like we race every Sunday. We'll put our head down in our lane and get after it."