SCHUMACHER DROPS INTO SIXTH
LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 1, 2011 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, moved into the sixth starting position here Friday after the first day of qualifying for the SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Battling hot track temperatures, Schumacher posted runs of 3.962-seconds at 305.98 mph and 3.965-seconds at 299.40 mph which placed him in the top half of the field entering the final day of qualifying on Saturday.
"It was a very challenging day," said the seven-time world champion. "It was 90 degrees and sunny and that made the track very loose. You had to be careful not to smoke the tires. Fortunately, we had two clean passes and got some good data in the process."
The weather is forecasted to be the same on Saturday, but a cold front is expected to roll into Las Vegas Saturday night and lower the air temperature to 70 degrees by race day.
"And, of course, that will change everything," said Schumacher. "We'll all have to move from a hot weather tune up to a cool weather tune up in a hurry. The team that can adjust to the conditions the best will win this race."
Schumacher, who is a six-time winner at The Strip, hopes his team is set to claim their first victory of the season.
"We came close in Gainesville (Fla.) two weeks ago, so we're primed to get it this weekend," he said. "We're running real well right now."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, grabbed the third starting spot following a 3.939-second trip at 311.34 mph in the second session.
Defending world champion, Larry Dixon, secured the provisional pole. Del Worsham, Brown, Spencer Massey and David Grubnic finished out the top five.