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DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying Report

DSR Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals
Qualifying Report

NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Event 4 of 24 (Las Vegas I)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 6-8, 2018

DSR Las Vegas Qualifying Highlights:

  • Tony Schumacher earns his 86th No. 1 qualifier
  • Saturday marks the 150th time Schumacher has qualified either No. 1 or No. 2 in his career
  • Ron Capps is one of only three Funny Car drivers to have earned bonus points at each of the first four races in 2018

Tony Schumacher Earns the Pole at the Inaugural Las Vegas NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (April 7, 2018) – The most successful Top Fuel driver in NHRA history picked up his 86th No. 1 qualifier during the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Tony Schumacher’s 3.765-second at 328.46-mph Q4 run boosted the U.S. Army driver to the top and earned him his second pole of 2018.

Schumacher made two solid qualifying runs during the first three sessions, finishing Friday sitting in fourth, and picking up a bonus point in Q3 for running a ‘top three’ pass. In the final qualifying session of the weekend, Schumacher and the U.S. Army Top Fuel team threw down the gauntlet and made their monster Pennzoil-powered 3.765-sec pass. The run boosted Schumacher’s Las Vegas pole tally to four at the Spring event, and 11 overall. It also marks the 150th time in his career that he will start Sunday from either the No. 1 or No. 2 qualifying position.

The team, which saw the addition of crew chief Mike Neff over the off-season, is off to a solid start, having already made a final round appearance in 2018. Schumacher’s confidence in his team’s abilities to end the inaugural West Coast four-wide event in the Winner’s Circle is apparent.

“Believe it or not, we brought Mike [Neff] in to get ‘off track.’ His job was to come in and stir the pot up; change what we had. We had a good car that made good runs, but we needed to make great runs like we did today,” said the eight-time Las Vegas winner.

“I love that my crew chief makes a decision when we’re one pair back to change the clutch. He sees whatever he sees, and he digs in there and makes a small change and it does what he says. So many times, crew chiefs will do that and it will go out and struggle. Mike’s really good, when he sees that he needs to make a change and he does, the car responds.

“It’s fun right now, and we have a great car. Every given Sunday, I wake up and think ‘this could be the day. We have a chance to win this.’"

Schumacher’s No. 1 qualifying position gives him the advantage of lane choice in his Steve Chrisman-Scott Palmer-Terry McMillen-round one matchup, but the eight-time Top Fuel champion believes his team has a fighting chance, regardless of where they had finished in qualifying.

“I don’t care where we start from right now. I’m comfortable racing with Mike. I’m comfortable racing with Phil, the car’s running good, and we’re going to go out there and try and win tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy. There are great cars and great teams that are running 76’s, 77’s, 78’s. We’ve just got to get down the track first or second in the first two rounds and then win the third round.

"Bruton [Smith] did an amazing job building this race track so the fans can pile in. We want to go out and win this inaugural event, we’ve had some great luck at inaugural races, and I want to continue that success.”

Qualified: No. 1

The Competition:
No. 8 Scott Palmer
No. 9 Terry McMillen
No. 16 Steve Chrisman

The Results:
Q1: 6.855 E.T. at 96.44 MPH
Q2: 3.817 E.T. at 318.39 MPH
Q3: 3.790 E.T. at 316.08 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.765 E.T. at 328.46 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 2

The Competition:
No. 7 Leah Pritchett
No. 10 Mike Salinas
No. 15 Terry Totten

The Results:
Q1: 5.082 E.T. at 147.49 MPH
Q2: 3.772 E.T. at 324.83 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.977 E.T. at 150.53 MPH
Q4: 3.904 E.T. at 314.24 MPH

Bonus Points: Three

“We’ll take that. We ended up No. 2. Our teammate Tony did a really good job. The Army team went 76. We were trying to step it up and run a good lap, too. Our Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota team, we do not quit. It’s been beating us up a little bit this year, but we’re just going to stay consistent and keep our heads down and keep pushing and working hard. We’ve just had little gremlins bite us, like little things that never break on our car – nickel and dime parts, not even major things. I feel bad for our guys, but they’re staying tough, and we’re all staying tough just working through it. That being said, we’re still doing good and fighting that fight. Tomorrow we go No. 2. We’ll get it worked out tonight. And we’ll go out there and give it all we’ve got and take it one round at a time.”


Driver of the Papa John's Pizza Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 7

The Competition:
No. 2 Antron Brown
No. 10 Mike Salinas
No. 15 Terry Totten

The Results:
Q1: 3.968 E.T. at 302.96 MPH
Q2: 3.802 E.T. at 320.58 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.913 E.T. at 307.02 MPH
Q4: 3.798 E.T. at 323.35 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

“Seven’s not number one, but it’s a good number to be in Vegas, I guess. We changed and adapted to these conditions more than one would expect for a track that we’ve been coming to for so long. What’s unique about this weekend for us is that we have the worst air, the worst ambient conditions, mixed with the best track conditions. Those two viable extremes makes for a combination we’ve never run before. Nobody else has, either, but this qualifying was a game of who could get ahold of it the quickest and we didn’t quite get on top of it early enough, but our last shot was our baseline for race day. So that, finally we feel good about. I wish there was a particular strategy for winning the four-wide and, if there was to be one, I would think it’s the same as two-wide racing as far as being the quickest. We’re fortunate in that all four lanes look very equal. We’ll just stick with our race-day mentality. I was consistent with my lights across all four lanes. And we feel like we have our racecar back, just under very unique conditions.”

Funny Car:

Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 13

The Competition:
No. 4 Ron Capps
No. 5 Robert Hight
No. 12 Gary Densham

The Results:
Q1: 4.201 E.T. at 228.15 MPH
Q2: 4.028 E.T. at 310.05 MPH
Q3: 4.083 E.T. at 306.12 MPH
Q4: 4.062 E.T. at 308.85 MPH

"Past performance is no guarantee of future results. We have a great race car, but we haven't shown it here in Vegas. We haven't qualified outside of the top five since [St. Louis, 2017] and here we're going in 13th. I'd be awfully concerned if I was one of the higher qualified cars in the stanza tomorrow. We're going to put our heads together and figure out why we haven't been getting the results that we're capable of, and we should be back on track tomorrow."


Driver of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 4

The Competition:
No. 5 Robert Hight
No. 12 Gary Densham
No. 13 Jack Beckman

The Results:
Q1: 3.992 E.T. at 316.82 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 5.912 E.T. at 115.98 MPH
Q3: 3.957 E.T. at 321.27 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.953 E.T. at 321.50 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Five

"This weekend has been a little strange, mostly because of the heat. It's been pretty fun with the fans that are showing up this weekend. There's been so many first timers, so many people flying from outside of the United States and to see a sold out crowd.
"It's a different event as we talk about Charlotte all the time but here, so many West Coast fans are being able to see it and I'm blown away that we ran as good as we ran. Then you look and see who you have to run in your first quad and it's teams as stout as (Jack) Beckman, Robert Hight, and Gary Densham. You really have to give props to the track for preparation of all four lanes being very, very good and very, very equal. The fact that we will have lane choice will be good. But man, I'm already excited about tomorrow and thinking about what's going to happen. The winners are going to be fans because you look at these quads and it's like world championship, down to the wire, people you would race in the final round, just in the first round. Rahn Tobler talks about it all the time. It doesn't matter where we qualify, we always feel like we have a shot at winning. Our NAPA guys just keep giving us a great car and it's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow."

Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 7

The Competition:
No. 2 Tommy Johnson Jr.
No. 10 Tim Wilkerson
No. 15 Del Worsham

The Results:
Q1: 4.319 E.T. at 216.69 MPH
Q2: 10.547 E.T. at 75.71 MPH
Q3: 4.053 E.T. at 304.19 MPH
Q4: 3.987 E.T. at 322.96 MPH

"All the draws out here in Funny Car are tough, period. It’s kind of been on off weekend for us, that’s not something we’re really used to. We haven’t really hit it right. We had a couple holes out for a couple runs out there and then I did a burnout and got the tires too dry and it didn’t really do a burnout so that probably costed us a run. We’re a little behind the eight-ball and stuff but one thing about it is Dickie Venables does a great job. We had a nice solid run this last run and we got some good data to work off of. Dickie is amazing when he has a little bit of data and some time to think overnight to put a game plan in place. This four-wide deal, you never know what’s going to happen. You just have to go three rounds tomorrow and turn on win lights. I think we can do it, we have a good crew. We just haven’t had some luck go our way in qualifying so maybe that’s out of the way and we can do well tomorrow. I know we have a car that can win on raceday so I’m looking forward to it."

Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T

Qualified: No. 2

The Competition:
No. 7 Matt Hagan
No. 10 Tim Wilkerson
No. 15 Del Worsham

The Results:
Q1: 4.092 E.T. at 303.57 MPH
Q2: 3.983 E.T. at 315.49 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.932 E.T. at 318.84 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.977 E.T. at 314.90 MPH

Bonus Points: Six

"I don't think there are any easy quads tomorrow. The way the car is running right now, I'm extremely pleased. In qualifying, every run was a good run. It went down the track all four times and not very many people did that. So going into race day, I feel really confident in our car. It's probably the best the car's been all season so I'm looking for a long day. "


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