CLERMONT, Ind. – Several Top Fuel drivers, including nine-time Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner Tony Schumacher, defending winner Shawn Langdon and noted rookie Richie Crampton, raced to impressive performances Thursday during the final day of testing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
NHRA teams utilized the two-day open test to prepare for the world’s most prestigious drag race, which will be held next weekend (Aug. 27-Sept. 1) at the famed NHRA-owned multi-purpose motorsports facility that sits just west of downtown Indianapolis. The tradition-rich event is the final race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season. The event also will feature the lucrative Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel and Funny Car and many special activities with the sport’s legendary drivers in celebration of the milestone 60th anniversary.
Schumacher posted the second-quickest run of the day with a performance of 3.810 seconds at 323.81 mph in his U.S. Army dragster. He comes to the Big Go this season looking to win the race for a record 10th time, which would break a tie for most wins he currently shares with Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden.
“We don’t test as much as we used to, most teams don’t,” Schumacher said. “There are a lot of new parts and pieces we have to get on the car that we have to try before the race weekend and qualifying. We also have the (Traxxas) Shootout as well. It is a huge weekend, we have a chance to do something that very few cars have had the chance to do and that is to win Indy 10 times. You want to make some good laps and know that you are coming in here comfortable with your tune up.”
Another Indy win would also give the seven-time world champ momentum heading into the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs. “The Sarge” has two victories and two No. 1 qualifying positions this season and is in fourth place in the points standings.
“We have been coming on so strong and have such a great racecar and you know we keep saying we need one more run, one more run, and here we want to give ourselves four or five more runs to get what we need,” Schumacher said. “We’re definitely leaving the test session comfortable coming back in a few days.”