SCHUMACHER GRABS FIFTH SPOT TOPEKA, Kan., May 21 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took the fifth starting position here Friday following the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Summer Nationals at Heartland...
SCHUMACHER GRABS FIFTH SPOT
TOPEKA, Kan., May 21 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher took the fifth starting position here Friday following the first day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Schumacher's 3.896-second pass at 313.58 mph in the opening session was initially good for the second spot, but he was knocked down to fifth after a tire-smoking evening session. "We took a big swing at it at night, but it just wouldn't stick," said the defending world champion. "The good news is we had a solid run during the day and that's when we race."
This weekend the Chicago-area resident is seeking his 60th win flying the U.S. Army colors. He's also trying to claim the U.S. Army's 100th NHRA victory.
"That's the plan for sure," he said. "We'd also like to take Heartland Park off the non-win list. I'm tired of leaving here every year without a trophy."
Heartland Park is one of two tracks where Schumacher has failed to win - the other is Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
"This has been a tough one for some reason," he offered. "I've never been number one here or advanced to a final. It's definitely time to take care of business."
Schumacher arrived in Kansas holding fourth-place in the standings, 10 points removed from third and 35 points behind second.
"We want to have a good run on Sunday," he said. "Like I said last week, the thing we need right now is consistency. Once we have that, we'll be just fine."
Schumacher's Matco Tools/U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, was able to secure the provisional pole after a sizzling 3.785-second pass at 321.96 mph. The speed is the sixth fastest since the nitro-burning cars began racing to 1,000 feet.
On the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing side, Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Chevrolet, will start 10th in tomorrow night's Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway after qualifying was cancelled due to rain.