Tony Schumacher has sparkled at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., during the season finale for two of his seven series championships.
And he was dreaming Saturday evening about doing something similar this year after no one could top his 3.773-second elapsed time on the 1,000-feet course from Friday qualifying at the Big O Tires Nationals at Las Vegas.
"We've pulled off miracles," the U.S. Army Dragster driver said, knowing he must leapfrog Don Schumacher Racing teammates Spencer Massey and Antron Brown, the points leader.
He said of Brown, "He's my teammate, but I want to be champion. If I can't do it . . . OK, he can do it."
But he warned, "I'm going to get some sleep, come out, and kick their butts."
Terry McMillen will be Schumacher's first-round opponent Sunday.
Schumacher said the fans should see exciting racing Sunday: "We are a spectator sport. Without the fans, we couldn't do it. Side-by-side racing is what it has become." He said qualifying gave the spectators, who sat through a track-repair delay awaiting nitro-class excitement, great runs, "one after another after another."
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