POMONA, Calif. (AP) Tony Schumacher won a record eighth Top Fuel world championship on Saturday at the NHRA Finals.
Schumacher secured his first season title since 2009 when Spencer Massey failed to improve on his sixth-place qualifying position. Schumacher qualified ninth and will face Larry Dixon in the opening round of eliminations at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Schumacher holds a 104-point lead over second-place Massey with a maximum of 100 points available to a single driver on Sunday.
''It is much more difficult now than it ever has been,'' Schumacher said. ''The key to winning these (championships) is to come on at the right time. This is a great sport but there is some luck involved.''
Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the top qualifiers in their categories.