Baytown: Tony Schumacher final report

SCHUMACHER ROLLS TO FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON BAYTOWN, Tex., March 29 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, secured his first victory of the season here Sunday in the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway...

SCHUMACHER ROLLS TO FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON

BAYTOWN, Tex., March 29 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, secured his first victory of the season here Sunday in the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Schumacher took out his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan, in the finals with a 3.881-second pass at 314.75 mph. In the process, the defending world champion pocketed his 57th career win.

"I feel so happy for Mike Green (his crew chief) and the guys," said a celebratory Schumacher afterwards. "They wanted to get this first one in the worst way for our Army Strong Soldiers. I'm giving this trophy to Mike to put in his office."

Schumacher's road to his match up with McClenathan was littered with tough opponents. He had to slide by Del Cox, Jr. in the first round, before disposing of Morgan Lucas in the quarterfinals. But, it was his semifinal confrontation with Larry Dixon which drew the most interest.

Dixon now drives for Alan Johnson, who tuned Schumacher to five straight world titles. Additionally, Schumacher's 2008 team now works on Dixon's car. It was Schumacher who gained the advantage on Dixon at the starting line and he never looked back en route to the win.

"That was definitely huge," said the Chicago-area resident. "It was the first time that the old team met up with the new team. Please understand, I'm still friends with everyone over there, but I really wanted to get that round. Not to mention, it was big as far as the points were concerned."

To that end, Schumacher moved from fifth in the standings to second and now trails leader, Antron Brown, by just 20 points.

"It's still early, but we want to be up there at the top," he said. "I love having everyone chasing us. I can't wait for next weekend to arrive."

Schumacher and his team will move to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 2-5, for the SummitRacing.com Nationals. He's a four-time winner at The Strip.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Don Schumacher