O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Schumacher looking for more success
Bristol, prerace: Coming off what could clearly be positioned as a get well weekend in Norwalk, Ohio, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony Schumacher, will be attempting to stay on a roll here this weekend at the rescheduled O’Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Last Sunday, Schumacher captured his second victory of the season at
One would have to go back to the ACDelco Gatornationals in March to find his previous win.
“It was definitely a long time coming,” said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion. “Up to last weekend, we were just not getting down the track with any consistency. Fortunately, we found the magic again.”
“I guess a lot of people assumed that our bad qualifying performance would carry over into race day,” he said. “Thankfully, I have Alan Johnson (his crew chief) in my corner. I knew he would get a handle on the race car. Once we got by Brandon (Bernstein) in the first round, I felt confident we could win the race.”
Now, Schumacher will turn his attention to the 12th race of the season, which is the official halfway point.
“Of greater importance is the fact that we only have six races to go before the cut off for the Countdown to the Championship,” he said. “We have to stay firmly entrenched in the top eight over these next few weeks. We certainly want to qualify for the Countdown for our soldiers. Obviously, that’s the path we have to take if we’re going to get our fourth consecutive title.”
Schumacher currently holds fifth-place in the standings, but is just 33 points removed from second-place.
“We’re in the middle of a tough stretch of races right now,” he offered. “After the
Bristol Dragway has been a fairly pleasant stop for Schumacher since the NHRA began visiting in 2001. In six events, he has a win (2004) as well as final round and semifinal round advancements to his credit. He also set the track record for elapsed time in ’04 – 4.477-seconds.
“It’s really a great place,” said Schumacher. “The fans are terrific and the track is usually perfect. I’m sure the launch pad problems that forced the postponement of the race back in May have been properly taken care of and we’ll be ready to put on a good show.”
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