By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Eight-time World Champion Tony Schumacher is the No. 1 qualifier at the ninth annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Schumacher also set a track record with his pass at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Illinois.
The Hills, Texas native went 3.680 at 332.92 mph in the categories line qualifying session. Persistent rain hampered much of the racing throughout the day.
“I was just on a dynamite run,” Schumacher said. “I honestly didn’t think it was going to stick, but for all the people who jumped in at the last minute to help me out and get me back out here, I appreciate it. (Crew chief) Mike Green and I have been doing this a long time together. We work well together and understand how each other works, and these guys are having a great time. I’m real happy to be here. I’ve got faith in the guys and that makes a big difference.
“It’s hard to go down a track that’s 64 degrees. It takes a great crew chief, a great team and some luck. We had it all right there, so it was perfect for us.”
Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel Dragster pilot Terry McMillen was the No. 2 qualifier. The Elkhart, Indiana native went 3.715 at 319.45 mph.
Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster pilot Antron Brown qualified No. 3. The Pittsboro, Indiana native went 3.720 at 326.95 mph.
Top Fuel Elimination ladder:
- Tony Schumacher vs. Kebin Kinsley
- Terry McMillen vs. Todd Paton
- Antron Brown vs. Justin Ashley
- T.J Zizzo vs. Luigi Novelli
- Doug Kalitta vs. Shawn Langdon
- Steve Torrence vs. Kyle Wurtzel
- Billy Torrence vs. Chris “The Greek” Karamesines
- Pat Dakin vs. Leah Pruett
Parts Plus Top Fuel Dragster pilot Clay Millican did not qualify. He went 13.497 at 43.49 mph.