SCHUMACHER LEADS TOP FUEL TESTING FOR CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS
(BROWNSBURG, Ind.) Tony Schumacher led the Top Fuel category on Wednesday during the first of two days of testing for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Defending Funny Car event winner Matt Hagan led the Funny Car class.
During the test session Schumacher posted a run of 3.707 seconds at 327.19 mph in his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster. Schumacher is the defending event winner, has 10 wins at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and is the winningest driver in the history of the event. Schumacher, who has one win this year, is hoping the positive results at testing parlay into success next week.
“When we talk about the result it comes down to this. It comes down to coming and testing, working hard and digging deep,” said Schumacher. “All the thought that goes into the before. We’ve had some great success here because of that. Because of the effort that we put in for this big race.”
Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown was second during the course of the day with his run of 3.753 at 325.30. Brown has three wins at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, one in Top Fuel and two in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and his team used the day to run in conditions the teams will see at the race.
“We’re just trying to be strategic and run the same times that we’re actually going to run down the race track,” said Brown. “So that when we come out here we can put our best foot forward. This is the race where you come and want to show out.”
Brittany Force was third during the day with her run of 3.773 at 301.07.
Hagan was the class of the Funny Car field with his run of 3.861 and his speed of 332.92 was the fastest during the day. Hagan is the defending event winner and is currently third in points. Robert Hight was second on the day at 3.863 at 328.78, and points leader Ron Capps was third with his run of 3.898 at 327.98.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams that participated in the test were all preparing for the world’s biggest drag race, the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, unleashing the thrilling, 10,000-horsepower action of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Drag racing’s grandest event marks the end of the NHRA regular season and is the 18th of 24 races in the 2017 season. With teams battling for top 10 spots in the six-race Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and with an increased amount of points in play via the point-and-a-half system for this event (150 points to the winner), the stakes will be high at the event know as the Big Go.
In all, during the course of six days, nearly 1,000 drivers competing across 12 categories have the goal of holding the Wally trophy on Labor Day Monday and expanded prize money, the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals the most-coveted victory in drag racing. Winning the event has become a necessity for drivers, who say that no career is truly complete without a win at drag racing’s biggest race.
The top drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete for their place in Indy history. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of a race that will be broadcasted on the FOX national broadcast network and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including a live broadcast of Monday’s finals on both FOX and FS1 on Monday, Sept. 4.
The first of five Mello Yello Series qualifying sessions is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. Two more sessions will take to the track on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., and the final two qualifying sessions will take place on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be contested Saturday, Sept. 2 with rounds at 3:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car takes place on Sunday, Sept. 3 for the eight qualified drivers, with rounds at 12:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:40 p.m.
FOX national broadcast and FS1 will televise coverage of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, starting with qualifying on Sunday, Sept. 3 on FS1 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST. The broadcasts continue on FS1 with two hours of live coverage of eliminations on Monday, Sept. 4 starting at 11 a.m. EST, continuing live on FOX at 1 p.m. EST.
Tickets for the world’s most prestigious drag race can be purchased by calling the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or online at www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
The closed to the public test session will conclude on Thursday.
1. Tony Schumacher: 3.707, 327.19
2. Antron Brown: 3.753, 325.50
3. Brittany Force: 3.773, 301.07
4. Wayne Newby: 3.806, 309.77
5. Billy Torrence: 3.819, 324.59
6. Shawn Langdon: 3.877, 248.93
1. Matt Hagan: 3.861, 332.92
2. Robert Hight: 3.863, 328.78
3. Ron Capps: 3.898, 327.98
4. Courtney Force: 3.917, 325.06
5. Johnnie Lindberg: 3.994, 274.44
6. Tommy Johnson Jr.: 4.023, 306.88
7. J.R. Todd: 4.024, 263.72
8. John Force: 4.222, 216.41
9. Jack Beckman: 5.006, 151.54
1. Ron Tornow: 6.960, 190.65
2. Ryan Oehler: 7.121, 187.76
3. Mark Paquette: 7.275, 150.25