LAS VEGAS – Seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher took the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday in the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals.
Schumacher powered his dragster to a 3.773-second run at 324.20 mph for his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 71st overall.
"There was a time when one car was a tenth of a second faster than everybody else, and he just didn't have to make a mistake and he would win," said Schumacher, battling points leader Antron Brown and second-place Spencer Massey for the series crown. "But now it's incredibly close. It's going to be a battle, and I'm glad we all got today in to see where the conditions are going to be."
Cruz Pedregon topped the Funny Car field in the fifth event in the six-race NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. Jason Line was fastest in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec won the rain-delayed final round from Mohnton, Pa., and qualified first in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Pedregon had a run of 4.066 at 312.50 in his Toyota Camry, knocking championship contender Mike Neff from the top spot. Neff was second at 4.070 at 313.73 in his Ford Mustang. Points leader Jack Beckman qualified seventh, while second-place Ron Capps will start the eliminations in eighth place.
In Pro Stock, Line earned his eighth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 32nd of his career with a track-record performance of 6.590 at 209.72 in a Chevy Camaro. Points leader Allen Johnson qualified second with a 6.600 pass at 209.07 in a Dodge Avenger.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec won the rain-delayed Mohnton final for his eighth victory of the season with a run of 6.966 at 194.13. He also earned the top qualifying position with a time of 6.902 at 195.11 on his Harley-Davidson.