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Tony Schumacher Finds Positives in Second-Round Finish at NHRA Nevada Nationals

Multi-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher went into the second round of eliminations at the NHRA Nevada Nationals full of confidence. His SCAG Power Equipment dragster was one of the most consistent cars in qualifying, and he made a weekend-best pass in the opening round of Sunday eliminations at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but a dead cylinder at the hit of the throttle prevented Schumacher from moving past the quarterfinals.
 
Schumacher was ultra-consistent in qualifying. After a tire-smoking run in Friday’s first session, the eight-time world champion ran a trio of 3.72-second passes to qualify No. 9. That included a 3.729 E.T. at 330.63 MPH run in the second session on Friday and two 3.723-second passes on Saturday. He had the third-quickest E.T. of the third session to earn one bonus point.
 
That consistency in qualifying gave crew chiefs Mike Neff and Jon Schaffer the confidence to get aggressive for Sunday’s first round of eliminations against Shawn Langdon. Schumacher left the starting line just a thousandth of a second behind Langdon before charging down the track with a 3.697-second pass to finish ahead of Langdon’s 3.744 E.T. Schumacher had the starting line advantage in the second round against No. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas, but he slowed to a 3.867-second pass next to Salinas and his 3.688 E.T.
 
“That was a tough one,” said Schumacher, who’s reached the winner’s circle eight times in Las Vegas. “We made such a great run first round. I really thought we had it. There was so much left after that first round. We had a .67 in that car and I thought it was going to do it. It put a hole out at the step. That sucked the wind out of my sails because I thought we were going to win this race. We’ll go to Pomona with a good car. We’ll test on Monday because we have new parts and new pieces. This car will be starting out next year with some wins right away.”
 
After taking part in the ‘Monday Nationals’ test session at The Strip, Schumacher and the SCAG Power Equipment team will chase down one final win of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Series season in two weeks at the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals, Nov. 10-12, at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Pomona, Calif.

This story was originally published on October 31, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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