News: Schumacher stays fourth for race day
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Turner
LAS VEGAS - U.S. Army Top Fuel drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher and Antron Brown settled into the fourth and 12th starting positions, respectively, after final qualifying for Sunday's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Dealing with a hot track, Schumacher did not improve upon his Friday qualifying effort, but Brown was able to advance a spot in the race day lineup.
"Like our Army Strong soldiers, we maintain a never quit attitude so we're ready to do battle tomorrow," Schumacher said. "Simply stated, it's time for us to go get an event trophy. We have waited way too long for a trip to victory lane."
Schumacher, who leads the Top Fuel standings, is winless in 26 straight races. His last win in the U.S. Army dragster came at the fall 2010 Las Vegas event.
"We're hoping Las Vegas will be kind to us tomorrow," Schumacher added. "Having won six times here during my career, we know what it takes to get the job done."
A seven-time world champion, Schumacher will take on 13th-place qualifier Troy Buff in the first round of final eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PDT.
"As always, you can't look beyond what's right in front of you," Schumacher said. "Our focus is on Troy and only Troy."
Brown, in his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, produced a 3.966-second pass at 311.34 mph in the last session and thus jumped from 13th to 12th.
"It was crazy the last couple of days," Brown said. "The first three times out we just overpowered the track. Finally, in that last session, we got the car to hook up and go A to B.
"With the weather expected to change tomorrow and cool down, it's going to be a whole different situation for all of us. We'll be ready to roll for sure."
The New Jersey native will square off with fifth-place qualifier Shawn Langdon in the opening round of action. Holding third in the standings, Brown leads Langdon, in fifth-place, by 42 points.
"It's still early in the season, but this will be an important race between two teams who are expected to contend for the world championship. We always look forward to these kinds of challenges."
ESPN2 will provide three hours of tape-delayed coverage of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.