Tony Schumacher earns first top qualifying position of year
MORRISON, Colo. -- Tony Schumacher raced to his first No. 1 qualifying position of the year and his career first at Bandimere Speedway for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
Schumacher's Top Fuel dragster earned the No. 1 qualifying position on Friday with a pass of 3.823 seconds at 319.75 mph.
No one was able to best the effort and Schumacher retained the No. 1 qualifying position, the 73rd in his career. He will face Jenna Haddock who makes her career first Top Fuel start on Sunday.
''We went down the track four times, we made it to the finish line four times,'' said Schumacher, the seven-time Top Fuel world champ.
''Two runs were better than the other two, but we are still getting there and a lot of people are struggling. The key is to take the horsepower we have, and this is a hard place to make horsepower, and we have some good power and slide it on down through there.''
John Force (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will lead their categories when eliminations begin Sunday for the NHRA Drag Racing Series event outside of Denver.
Force, the most recent Funny Car event winner, captured his third No. 1 qualifying position of the year and his first since the second event of the season with a run of 4.049 at 318.93 in a Ford Mustang. Force, who has six career wins at Bandimere Speedway, will face Jeff Diehl in the first round of eliminations.
Line powered his Chevy Camaro to the No. 1 qualifying position in the final qualifying session with a run of 6.924 at 198.70. It is his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and his second at Bandimere Speedway. He will face Steve Kalkowski in the first round of eliminations.
Arana Jr. will lead the Pro Stock Motorcycle field into eliminations on Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier with his run of 7.178 at 186.72, which are both Bandimere Speedway track records. It is his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season. His Buell will open against Chris Sullivan.