SCHUMACHER LOSES IN SECOND ROUND CONCORD, N.C., March 28 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the second round of the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals here Sunday at zMAX Dragway. The seven-time world champion failed to...
SCHUMACHER LOSES IN SECOND ROUND
CONCORD, N.C., March 28 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the second round of the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals here Sunday at zMAX Dragway.
The seven-time world champion failed to finish in the top two among four drivers in round two and as a result was sent home earlier than desired.
"We had such a good car so I clearly didn't expect that outcome," said Schumacher. "For some reason, I was a little distracted at the starting line and ended up deep staging which ultimately cut into our elapsed time. I feel really bad for the team -- they work their tails off every weekend. They certainly deserved a better outcome today."
Schumacher posted a 3.810-second pass at 318.39 mph in the opening round and thus advanced along with Doug Kalitta. But, the Chicago-area resident returned with a 3.842-second run at 318.62 mph which trailed the 3.809-second trips recorded by his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan, and Kalitta.
"It's a tough pill to swallow leaving here without a trophy," added Schumacher. "I felt confident we could get the job done. Like our Army Strong Soldiers, we never accept defeat. We'll just take it to them again in a couple of weeks."
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will enjoy a weekend off for the Easter holiday before traveling to Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Tex., April 9-11, for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals.
Schumacher, who is the defending O'Reilly Spring Nationals event champ, will fall into second or third in the standings pending the rain-delayed outcome of the Four-Wide Nationals.
"It would've been nice to retain the points lead, but I guess it just wasn't in the cards," offered Schumacher. "There's plenty of racing ahead of us, so we'll get it all figured out."
While Schumacher was sidelined early in the day, Antron Brown, who handles the controls of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Racing dragster, advanced to the final round against McClenathan, Kalitta and Doug Herbert. He will depart zMAX Dragway holding third or fourth in the standings.
Over in the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing camp, Ryan Newman, who drives the #39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Chevy, will have to wait until Monday to compete at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Rain postponed the 500-lap Sprint Cup race at the .526-mile oval.