“We were actually a bit conservative on the run because we knew we had to make it down the track just in case we have rain tomorrow,” Schumacher said. “But if we don’t have any problems with the weather, the conditions could be even better on Saturday because it will be a couple of degrees cooler. I’m sure that a 3.77 won’t hold for No. 1 tomorrow. But having run the 3.77 on our first pass, that gives us the luxury of going all out on Saturday, and that’s what we plan to do.”
Top Fuel series leader Shawn Langdon qualified third in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster with a 3.789 at 325.92 and Brandon Bernstein, who sat out the last two events recovering from back surgery, was fourth in his ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAV TV dragster with a 3.794 at 323.04.
In Pro Stock, series leader Edwards is in position to earn his 10th No. 1 of the season and 51st of his career as he drove his Interstate Batteries/I Am Second Chevy Camaro to a quick pass of 6.602 at 208.68.
“We made a nice run and feel like we might have been a little bit soft in some areas,” Edwards said. “We didn’t know how many runs we were going to get so we just wanted to get down the track. The conditions will be better tomorrow so we’ll see a lot of changes. I think it will be quite a bit better.”
Defending world champ Allen Johnson was second in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger with a 6.614 at 208.68 and his teammate, four-time Chicago winner Jeg Coughlin, was third overall in his JEGS.com/Mopar Avenger with a 6.615 at 209.36.
Defending event Pro Stock winner Erica Enders-Stevens, who made history at this event last year by becoming the first female to win an NHRA Pro Stock race, qualified fourth in her Cagnazzi Racing Camaro with a 6.620 at 207.75.
If Pollacheck’s leading time of 6.929 at 191.24 on his Sovereign Star Racing Buell holds he will earn his first career No. 1 qualifying position in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
“We hope that will hold up because we really need a good weekend especially after last week,” said Pollacheck, who qualified fourth at Epping but was upset in the first round by No. 13 qualifier Steve Johnson. “Michael [Ray, teammate] has had a great bike, but we’ve had some gremlins with mine. Hopefully we have them exterminated. I think we do have some left over. That wasn’t a perfect run, so maybe tomorrow we can run quicker.”
Hector Arana Sr. qualified second on his Lucas Oil Buell with a 6.930 at 193.32 and Matt Smith was third on his Viper Motorcycle Company Buell with a 6.937 at 193.82.