Heartland Park Topeka
SCHUMACHER TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE
TOPEKA, Kan. - Piloting his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher sprinted into the number one qualifying spot here Friday after the first day of qualifying for the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Schumacher's 3.798-second pass at 324.12 mph was good enough to hold off the efforts of Larry Dixon, Spencer Massey, Doug Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein, who filled out the top five positions.
"We were confident we could put up the kind of number we did," said Schumacher. "The track temperature was in the 70's and the air was nice and cool. The car danced on me a little bit, but fortunately it stuck the whole way down. We're quite happy with the result."
Schumacher, who set the track record for speed, is hoping to pocket his first victory of the season this weekend while making a big move up in the points.
"We want a win really bad," offered the Chicago-area resident. "We got close last weekend at Atlanta Dragway, so it's time to take care of business once and for all here in Topeka. We wouldn't mind getting closer to the top of the standings either."
Holding fourth-place, Schumacher trails Del Worsham, Antron Brown and Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel points. He's seeking his 68th career win and his second straight win at Heartland Park.
"Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day and next weekend is Memorial Day, so it's important we give back to the brave folks who allow us to be out here," said Schumacher. "I drive for the U.S. Army - we never accept defeat."
Should Schumacher retain the pole through the final two qualifying sessions on Saturday, it will be his third of the year and the 64th of his career.
Brown, who is Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, ended the first day of action in seventh-place after a 3.864-second run at 319.22 mph. He's coming off his second win of the season at Atlanta Dragway last Sunday.