SCHUMACHER NUMBER ONE AFTER OPENING DAY
BAYTOWN, TEXAS, April 29, 2011 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, secured the number one starting spot here Friday during the first day of qualifying for the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway.
The Chicago-area resident put up a 3.817-second pass at 323.81 mph in the second qualifying session and as a result placed himself in contention for his second pole of the season.
"That was pretty impressive," said Schumacher. "I'm really not surprised at how well the car ran. Like I've stated for weeks, we've had a better car than our numbers have shown." Schumacher is in hot pursuit of his first victory of the year at Royal Purple Raceway, while seeking to make a move up in the points.
"We certainly can accomplish both of those tasks this weekend," said Schumacher, who arrived in the Houston area holding fourth in the standings. "We have a car that's more than capable of winning a bunch of races. We just need for it to run with some consistency and we'll be more than fine."
The seven-time world champion has two career wins to his credit at the track formerly known as Houston Raceway Park. However, the one in 2009 clearly stands out.
"That was my first win with Mike Green (his crew chief)," he said. "Obviously, we've had more wins together since then. That said, it would be nice to add to that total come Sunday."
That was my first win with Mike Green (his crew chief).
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, took the fifth starting position with a 3.873-second run at 315.78 mph.
Brown came into the fifth round of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series sitting third in the standings behind Del Worsham and Larry Dixon, respectively.
Sandwiched in between Schumacher and Brown in the Top Fuel order going into final qualifying on Saturday is Dixon, Morgan Lucas and Spencer Massey, respectively.