Tony Schumacher last competed at Bristol Dragway in 2018 where he brought home the Thunder Valley Nationals trophy for the sixth time in his illustrious career, making him the winningest Top Fuel driver in the facility’s history. He was hoping his first trip back to Bristol would result in a repeat performance, but his chances at earning another Father’s Day win went up in smoke during the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
As the No. 13 qualifier, Schumacher faced fellow multi-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown in round one. Schumacher and his Maynard Family/Scag Power Equipment dragster were nearly even with Brown as they passed the 60-foot marker, but a loss of traction near the 330 cone caused Schumacher to slow to a 4.401 while Brown posted a 3.863 E.T. for the win in the opposite lane.
“It’s so anticlimactic to come to a race that you’ve won six times and go out the way we did,” said Schumacher. “We just don’t quite have our combination figured out yet but once we do, we’ll have a great car. I’m not the kind of guy that throws fits and whips helmets. We’ll figure it out, work hard, dig deep, test, and just do what we need to do. I’ve been in this position before; it’s frustrating. I know it’s frustrating for the whole team, they work so darn hard.
“Next up is Norwalk in a few days, and I’m glad we have four qualifying runs on the schedule there,” said Schumacher, who departs Bristol Dragway ranked eleventh. “Having only three qualifying runs a weekend just doesn’t allow new teams to collect enough data. I’ve missed Bristol; I love this place, and I really wanted to win it on Father’s Day, but we got beat. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, and thank you to all the fans that came out this weekend.”
In the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series, both David Davies and Mark Pawuk secured ‘top five’ qualifying positions out of 22 entries to earn a spot on the eliminations ladder. Despite posting the top speed of the meet (175.21-mph) during round one, Pawuk’s Drag Pak couldn’t keep pace with his first opponent, causing him to bow out early. After defeating Lee Hartman in the quarterfinals, Davies drew David Barton to advance to the first semifinal appearance of his Factory Stock career. Unfortunately for Davies, he was a bit over-eager to snag the round win and stood on the gas early, setting off the red light.
The NHRA Camping World Series and Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series compete next at the NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 24 – 26.
Driver of the Maynard Family Racing/Scag Power Equipment Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 13 (3.913 E.T. at 306.33 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 4.401 E.T. at 199.94 MPH defeated by Antron Brown 3.863 E.T. at 313.88 MPH
NHRA Camping World Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Unofficial):