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2014 NHRA: U.S. Army Puts Schumacher On The Pole After The First Day At Indy; Teammate Capps, NAPA Team No. 2 In Funny Car
Posted by: newsla on Aug 30, 2014 - 07:13 AM
2014 NHRA: U.S. Army Puts Schumacher On The Pole After The First Day At Indy; Teammate Capps, NAPA Team No. 2 In Funny Car

Tony Schumacher recently moved from his native Chicago area to Austin, Texas, but he considers the Lucas Oil Dragstrip near Indianapolis as his home.

Or he should.

The U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster driver earned the provisional pole Friday night for the team led by Mike Green to open the 60th annual U.S. Nationals with a run of 3.777 seconds at 322.65 mph, which was the day's top speed, in the first of five qualifying sessions in the prestigious event that runs through Monday.


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"Man, this is the U.S. Nationals at Indy and there's no better way to start," said Schumacher, the seven-time Top Fuel world champion who has won 74 NHRA Wally trophies.

Schumacher, who has won three Indy poles, owns the U.S. Nationals Top Fuel titles record with nine and one more will move him ahead of Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden's total in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

In addition to trying to maintain his pole position through two qualifying sessions on Saturday, Schumacher and seven other Top Fuel drivers will vie for a $100,000 bonus in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout.

"The main thing is how you finish and this Army team always rises to the top when the pressure is on. We want to win the Traxxas Shootout tomorrow but our main goal is to win another U.S. Nationals trophy. Nothing is better than that."

In Funny Car, Ron Capps almost matched the performance of his Don Schumacher Racing teammate when his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T moved into the No. 2 spot with a run of 4.052 seconds (316.01).

Capps' effort for the Rahn Tobler-led NAPA team was close to the way they wanted to start the season's biggest race.

But it put the team, which is third in series standings, on firm footing going into three days of racing when they can earn a trophy and big paycheck at the end of each day.

Capps, who has never won an NHRA national event or even advanced to a championship round at Indy, will race John Force Saturday evening for the Mello Yello title of the rain-delayed Funny Car final from Brainerd, Minn., which was delayed by rain two weeks ago.

"It's cliché to say we needed a good start, a good qualifying position, but it's Indy," he said. "And on top of that we have the final round from Brainerd to run on Saturday night. Tobler really wanted to throw down and see what the track would hold and that's a tough thing for a crew chief to do.

"In the middle of the U.S. Nationals to try and get down the track and be able to learn something at the same time but also make a statement that tomorrow night is going to be our final round from Brainerd.

"It was big in a lot of ways. It's been several years where we've kicked off qualifying with a run like that and gotten us in a good position but I think Tobler is really motivated to go after (Force crew chief) Jimmy Prock tomorrow night. It's going to be a fun, fun race."

Matt Hagan is qualified third with a time of 4.067 seconds at the day's best Funny Car speed of 318.47.

Saturday (First round, 4 p.m.; semifinals, 5:25 p.m., final 7:45 p.m.)
No. 1 Doug Kalitta vs. No. 8 Brittany Force;
No. 2 ANTRON BROWN vs. No. 7 Richie Crampton;
No. 3 Shawn Langdon vs. No. 6 Khalid alBalooshi;

Provisional No. 1 Qualifier: Tony Schumacher (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.777 sec., 322.65 mph

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 1
FRIDAY: 3.777 sec., 322.65 mph

SPENCER MASSEY, Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 20
FRIDAY: 10.990 sec., 74.97 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 8
FRIDAY: 4.056 sec., 281.36 mph

Provisional No. 1 Qualifier: Del Worsham (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.044 sec., 313.73 mph

Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 2
FRIDAY: 4.052 sec., 316.01 mph

MATT HAGAN, 426 Race HEMI 50th Anniversary Tribute Mopar Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 3
FRIDAY: 4.067 sec., 318.47 mph

JACK BECKMAN, Valvoline SynPower Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 4
FRIDAY: 4.071 sec., 314.90 mph

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., #RileyDreamRacer Dodge Charger R/T
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 14
FRIDAY: 9.187 sec., 78.73

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