CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Schumacher grabs third starting spot
Despite posting a pair of 4.530-second passes, Schumacher was knocked from second to third for race day. He will take on 14th-place qualifier, Doug Kalitta, in the opening round of eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday.
"We put up a couple of nice laps today," said the five-time world champion. "With the cool conditions that developed, I'm sure Alan Johnson (his crew chief) was going for the pole in that last session but we came up short. That's okay. We'll be ready to go tomorrow.
"We definitely have a tough customer in Kalitta to start the season. Lest anyone forget how we fought to the finish a couple of years ago for the title. That's a real good team over there and we better be prepared for a battle."
On Sunday, the
"Along with the U.S. Nationals, this is another race that everyone wants to win at some point or another," he added. "Also, you always want to win the season opener so you can come out of the box on a successful note."
In 2008, Schumacher is seeking his fifth straight world championship and the sixth of his career.
"First things first - we need to go out and win tomorrow," he emphasized. "We always take a one race at a time approach."
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