Dallas Tony Schumacher Returns to Spot of First Victory

SCHUMACHER RETURNS TO SPOT OF HIS FIRST VICTORY: Tony Schumacher, the 1999 NHRA Winston Top Fuel champion, will forever remember the Texas Motorplex for one reason. It is the site of his first victory as a Top Fuel driver. And that win proved ...

SCHUMACHER RETURNS TO SPOT OF HIS FIRST VICTORY: Tony Schumacher, the 1999 NHRA Winston Top Fuel champion, will forever remember the Texas Motorplex for one reason. It is the site of his first victory as a Top Fuel driver. And that win proved crucial in deciding the NHRA Winston championship last season, which was one of the most competitive championship chases in NHRA history.

Schumacher, from Park Ridge, Ill., is again locked in an extremely tight battle with several of the same drivers who he battled last year, including Scelzi. As much as Scelzi wants the crown back, Schumacher is just as determined to hang on to it.

"It's going to be brutal if anyone wants to take the title away from us, especially Gary (Scelzi)," Schumacher said. "I am going to tell you that we are not going to rest on our laurels. We plan on keeping this title and that means you have to go rounds."

Schumacher's Exide Batteries dragster has made final round runs in Pomona, Calif., Phoenix, Gainesville, Fla., Houston and Atlanta. His only win this season came in Phoenix. Two of his losses have come to Scelzi, a driver that he is eager to settle the score with.

"There are great rivalries in every sport," Schumacher said. "I think you will see more and more intense racing among teams in Top Fuel as the season progresses and people start to separate from the rest of the field. This will be an emotional year for a lot of people."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher