Tony Schumacher Pomona Thursday Qualifying

Tony Schumacher and Team Exide started their first day at the Auto Club NHRA Finals amid much attention from media and fans as all the Winston Championship points leaders must do is qualify to clinch the 1999 title. The main focus for this ...

Tony Schumacher and Team Exide started their first day at the Auto Club NHRA Finals amid much attention from media and fans as all the Winston Championship points leaders must do is qualify to clinch the 1999 title. The main focus for this young team is to do what they have done all year and not concern themselves with the point's chase. Though now arguably tougher with all the attention, Schumacher and team have qualified for every race of the season thus far.

The first round of qualifying put Schumacher next to defending champion, Gary Scelzi, who is the only competitor that could pass Schumacher if he fails to qualify. As many struggled to get down the Pomona Raceway quarter-mile, Schumacher legged out a 4.712 e.t. at 300.13 mph to end the first session in the No. 9 qualifying spot.

"We threw all the rods out of the car. It should have been a better pass but it let go at the top end," said Schumacher after surveying the damage to his Exide dragster. "We will be alright. We ran well here last February and we have gathered a lot of valuable data since then. Dan will have a handle on the track"

The second round of qualifying for Top Fuel is scheduled for Friday afternoon, with two additional rounds Saturday. Schumacher and team will prepare for the Big Bud Shootout which will begin Saturday with the third qualifying session.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi