Hometown favorite and three-time Route 66 winner Schumacher was second in his U.S. Army dragster with a 3.738 at 324.12 and will open against Australian David Grubnic, while Bob Vandergriff will start third in his C&J Energy Services dragster with a 3.742 at 324.28 and will meet rookie Brittany Force.
In Pro Stock, Edwards used a track record performance of 6.542 at 210.64 to claim his category-leading 10th No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 51st of his career. A two-time winner at Route 66 Raceway, Edwards will face local favorite Steve Spiess in the first round.
“We made some good calls and made another good run and it was a great job by all my guys,” said Edwards of his fourth No. 1 at Route 66 Raceway. “It was a phenomenal job by the guys at the engine shop. We came here with a totally different combination and it looks like it runs really good. It’s so hard to do that in this class and to continue to do it. I can’t believe that’s 51 number ones for me.”
Defending world champ Allen Johnson was second in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger with a 6.556 at 209.56 and will meet Steve Kent in the first round, while four-time Chicago winner Jeg Coughlin qualified third in his JEGS.com/Mopar Avenger and will race Bristol winner Rodger Brogdon in the opener.
Smith rode his Viper Motorcycle Company Buell to a 6.908 at 193.82 to claim his second No. 1 of the season and 20th of his career in Pro Stock Motorcycle. The 2007 world champ in the two-wheel category will meet defending world champ Eddie Krawiec in a high-profile first round match.
“We’ve had top speed on every run, but we needed the 60-foot times to go with it,” Smith said. “This track is so good that we were bogging the bike, but I made a lot of changes to both my bike and (wife) Angie’s bike for the last run, and we ended up 1 and 2 for that session.
Smith was proud that he helped wife Angie make the second-quickest run of the final session and qualify in the top half of the field, in the fifth position.
“This track has a lot of teeth, and you need to get after it,” Smith continued. “You need to make a lot of changes, like gear and fuel, to take advantage of it. John [Hall, teammate] won last weekend, and I’ve been running really good lately, so we decided to work on Angie’s bike and try to see if we can get her in the top 10. She has a fast bike, and she made a good run that time. I’m excited about our whole deal.”
After opening Friday as the leader, Scotty Pollacheck dropped to second on his Sovereign Star Buell with a 6.929 at 191.24 and he will face Andrew Hines in the opening round. Hector Arana Sr. qualified third on his Lucas Oil Buell with a 6.930 at 193.32 and he will race 71-year-old Joe DeSantis in the first round.