Heartland Park Topeka
SCHUMACHER NAILS THIRD POLE OF THE YEAR
TOPEKA, Kan. - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, pocketed his third pole of the season here Saturday during final qualifying for the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
With sunny skies and warm temperatures returning to the Sunflower State, Schumacher's Friday night pass of 3.798-seconds at 324.12 mph was never challenged in either of the final two qualifying sessions.
"Believe me, we're happy about being number one, but winning tomorrow is what it's all about," said the seven-time world champion. "Everyone remembers the race results, not the qualifying results."
With his stellar qualifying effort, Schumacher created a match up with 16th-place qualifier, David Grubnic, in the first round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. CT.
On Sunday, Schumacher will be seeking his first win of the season and the 68th of his career. He's also looking to go back-to-back at Heartland Park.
"We're definitely hungry for a trophy," he said. "We've seen our U.S. Army Racing teammate (Antron Brown) get two trophies already this year. It's about time for us to take the top step on the podium."
Schumacher would be one happy camper if he could be the last one standing on race day given the fact Memorial Day is forthcoming next weekend.
"I drive the U.S. Army car - that's all I need to say," said the Chicago-area resident. "We all need to properly honor all of those brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom."
While Schumacher was enjoying his run to the top of the order, Brown did not quite make it into the top half of the field.
(We'll) take what the track gives us.
The New Jersey native, who captured the win at Atlanta Dragway last weekend, ended up in the ninth starting spot and thus will face eighth-place qualifier and former Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan, in the opening round of action.
"We didn't qualify like we wanted to, but tomorrow is another day," said Brown. "We'll be ready to do what we always do - take what the track gives us. Hopefully, we'll get another four win lights."