News: Schumacher collects fourth spot in Baytown Brown not qualified after first day of action
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Turner
HOUSTON — Two different stories were written by U.S. Army Racing Top Fuel drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher and Antron Brown during the initial day of qualifying for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston.
While Schumacher eased into the fourth starting position with a 3.778-second pass at 326.56 mph, Brown did not post a clean 1,000-foot trip and thus was not in the show going into the final day of qualifying, Saturday, April 28.
In pursuit of his 600th career round win and his first victory in 28 races, Schumacher fell in behind provisional pole sitter Morgan Lucas, Steve Torrence and his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey, respectively, in the opening day order.
"Like our Army Strong soldiers, we have a mission to complete," Schumacher said. "For us, it's always to compete for the event title on Sunday. To that end, we're definitely off to a good start here today with a couple of solid qualifying runs."
A two-time winner at Royal Purple Raceway, Schumacher would like to end his winless streak and move into the point lead which Massey currently holds.
"Without a doubt, that's our objective," Schumacher said. "We are one hungry team - you can be sure of that. We're ready to make an overdue trip to victory lane."
As Schumacher smiled at the time sheet in front of him, Brown was shaking his head after two Friday passes produced engine problems.
The New Jersey native ended up 18th in the lineup and must gain at least two spots, Saturday, to make the 16-car race day field.
"That's certainly not how we planned for things to go today," Brown said. "We've been running so good for so long. We had a cylinder go out in the first run and then the engine just let go in the second session. I just hate tearing stuff up."
Holding third in the standings, Brown fully expects to race on Sunday and then challenge for his second win of the year.
"We'll just go out and do our normal deal tomorrow and then get set for the race," Brown said. "Once you're in, it doesn't matter where you are qualified. You can win from anywhere. That's been proven time and time again."
This work, Schumacher collects fourth spot in Baytown Brown not qualified after first day of action, by SFC Scott Turner, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.