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Monday April 24th, 2017 9:19AM

Schumacher fastest in Top Fuel qualifying at Gainesville

By NHRA Media
  Contact Editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tony Schumacher secured the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier Saturday at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

John Force (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories.

Schumacher piloted his dragster to a track elapsed time record pass of 3.682 seconds at 328.22 mph in the second qualifying session to earn his 81st career No. 1 qualifier, first of the season.

“The Gatornationals to me, even as a kid, was always one of the greatest moments for my father,” Schumacher said. “It’s a great chance, great opportunity. When you’re given a great opportunity, you surround yourself with people capable of that moment, which we have done. You hope for great weather and the perfect situation tomorrow, great storm, great race. What you want is for the fans to walk away going, ‘We paid good money for this race and we feel like we owe more.’”

In the first round of eliminations, Schumacher will face Smax Smith. Doug Kalitta is qualified second with a 3.698 at 328.78 and will race Ike Maier. Antron Brown is third and will line up against Chris Karamesines.

Force raced to the 155th No. 1 qualifier of his career with a track elapsed time record of 3.832 at 333.25. He will face Bob Tasca in the first round.

“It’s exciting to come here to Gainesville,” Force said. “I haven’t run this good in years. We kept low ET, that’s an honor, I love it. It’s a good weekend of us. The team gelled. We’ll just go from there. I want to come out here tomorrow and I want to try to win. Don’t know who I race, don’t matter, I race my lane. I go A to B. But I’m really excited just to be in the hunt.”

Force’s teammate, Robert Hight, is qualified second with a 3.844 pass at 331.61 and will race Del Worsham. Matt Hagan is third.

Line’s 6.476 pass at 213.87 from Friday held up to secure his third consecutive Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier of the season, 52nd of his career.

“We just try to go as fast as we can,” Line said. “The strategy is the same, early season, late season, mid-season, it doesn’t matter, it’s to put the Summit cars in the Winner’s Circle. Qualifying No. 1, obviously to me, is the best way to start. Our Summit Camaro is running really, really well so I’m super excited about tomorrow.”

Bo Butner is second with a 6.477 at 213.60 and will line up against John Gaydosh in the first round of eliminations. Erica Enders is qualified third and will race Alan Prusiensky in round one.

Savoie earned the ninth No. 1 qualifier of his career with a 6.753 pass at 198.99 in the third qualifying session. He will race Shawn Gann in the first round of eliminations.

“I’ve been coming to the Gators six years now,” Savoie said. “My first year out we qualified No. 6. I had really thought, when I bought all of Mr. (Don) Schumacher’s stuff and everything, that it was going to be easy, I thought we were going to qualify No. 1 and win the race. Six years later finally, finally we get to qualify No.1 in Gainesville. For me it’s a special privilege.”

Savoie bumped Eddie Krawiec, who is second with his 6.791 pass at 198.17 from Friday. Joey Gladstone, in his second season, qualified third with a pass of 6.810 at 197.51.

Eliminations for the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals begin at 11 am on Sunday.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Gainesville Raceway – Gainesville, FL
NHRA Gatornationals – March 18, 2017

Sunday’s First-Round Pairings

Top Fuel — 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.682 seconds, 328.22 mph vs. 16. Smax Smith, 15.934, 23.58; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.698, 328.78 vs. 15. Ike Maier, 4.084, 273.11; 3. Antron Brown, 3.716, 326.24 vs. 14. Chris Karamesines, 4.043, 290.26; 4. Brittany Force, 3.719, 326.79 vs. 13. Larry Dixon, 3.988, 239.31; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.726, 327.51 vs. 12. Shawn Reed, 3.879, 315.49; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.738, 328.86 vs. 11. Pat Dakin, 3.862, 289.63; 7. Leah Pritchett, 3.750, 327.66 vs. 10. Scott Palmer, 3.826, 321.73; 8. Clay Millican, 3.762, 327.11 vs. 9. Terry McMillen, 3.780, 324.51.

Funny Car — 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.832, 333.25 vs. 16. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.544, 191.57; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.844, 331.77 vs. 15. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.215, 235.80; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.854, 328.70 vs. 14. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.152, 255.10; 4. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.860, 333.49 vs. 13. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.152, 295.72; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.865, 329.83 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.947, 323.12; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.865, 329.58 vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.928, 327.98; 7. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.871, 332.51 vs. 10. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.927, 325.37; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.883, 330.23 vs. 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.920, 309.06.

Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.476, 213.87 vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.477, 214.28 vs. 15. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.708, 205.94; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.490, 214.01 vs. 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.582, 211.69; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.491, 214.31 vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.561, 212.33; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.491, 214.59 vs. 12. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.553, 211.83; 6. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.493, 214.11 vs. 11. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.549, 211.56; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.517, 212.96 vs. 10. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.539, 214.08; 8. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.526, 213.20 vs. 9. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.531, 213.37.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.753, 198.99 vs. 16. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.922, 194.07; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.791, 199.88 vs. 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.918, 195.00; 3. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.793, 198.35 vs. 14. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.910, 193.99; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.793, 198.15 vs. 13. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 6.898, 194.02; 5. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.813, 198.26 vs. 12. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.890, 189.71; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.819, 196.79 vs. 11. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.888, 192.71; 7. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.828, 198.03 vs. 10. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.857, 195.17; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.831, 197.94 vs. 9. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.848, 197.77.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Shawn Gann, 6.941, 191.21; 18. John Hall, 6.952, 192.22; 19. Chip Ellis, 6.955, 192.49; 20. Scott Bottorff, 6.969, 191.62; 21. David Hope, 6.970, 191.24; 22. James Surber, 7.307, 182.70; 23. Andie Rawlings, 8.273, 135.65; 24. Brian Pretzel, 10.993, 72.09.

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Auto Racing, NHRA, Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Drag Racing, Asphalt
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