News: Schumacher moves up to second in order
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Turner
INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher jumped into the second starting spot here Saturday, Sept. 3, during the second day of qualifying for the 57th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Schumacher's 3.856-second run at 320.36 miles per hour placed him just behind his Don Schumacher Racing/U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the provisional line up going into the final two rounds of qualifying, Sunday, Sept. 4.
"That was an excellent job by the U.S. Army team right there," said Schumacher, an eight-time U.S. Nationals event champion. "We didn't get down the track during the day, but we came back and fired one right down the track at night. That was a good way to end day two."
Schumacher was on top of the charts until the last Top Fuel pair of the night, which included Brown and his other DSR teammate, Spencer Massey. Brown rose to the challenge with a 3.818-second jaunt at 322.96 mph.
"You have to give credit where credit is due - Antron and his team laid down a perfect run," said Schumacher. "We'll have to try and take a shot at him tomorrow."
With a cold front expected to go through Indianapolis overnight, temperatures are predicted to drop some 20 degrees into the 70's by the first Top Fuel session on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
"That temperature change will give everyone a chance to improve," said Schumacher. "For sure, we will clearly look to do that. My car is performing well, so I'm a happy guy right now."
On Monday, Sept. 5, the Chicago-area resident sought a class record ninth U.S. Nationals Top Fuel trophy, while looking to claim his initial victory of the 2011 season.
"I guess we're looking to take care of things on a couple fronts," he said. "I feel very good about our chances. We were in the finals the last four races, so it would be nice to finally seal the deal here in Indy."
Brown's impressive 1,000-foot trip enabled him to move around Schumacher on the time sheet. He is looking for his second pole in the last three races.
"What a great effort by my guys," said Brown, a New Jersey native. "We saw Tony make that good run, so we knew the track had a lot in it. It was just a matter if the tires would stick the whole way down. Fortunately, we were clean from A to B."
In the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing camp, Saturday, Sept. 3, driver Ryan Newman directed his No. 39 U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet into the ninth starting position following qualifying for Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Newman, who is seventh in the driver standings, covered the high-speed, 1.54-mile oval in 29.889 seconds at 185.486 mph.