David vs. Goliath, NHRA style

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Could we be getting ready to see a repeat of the Mile High Nationals in Denver?

Tony Schumacher took the No. 1 at the Mopar Mile High Nationals three weeks ago at Denver in his US Army Don Schumacher Racing dragster and had to run true rookie and No. 16 qualifier Jenna Haddock’s Patriot rail in the first round. The Sarge shook the tires and Jenna ended up winning her first race ever in NHRA Mello Yello drag racing. That would be all she won at Bandimere Speedway, but she did scoot back to the pits to help tune and back-up husband Terry’s Funny Car.

Uh oh - it’s happened again in the third leg of NHRA’s three-race Western Swing at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle. Schumacher’s the fastest in Top Fuel and Haddock, once again made the field, in her second race. That usually doesn’t happen, does it? Is there any special meaning to this?

Schumacher is the most successful Top Fuel competitor in this era, with seven championships in this 10,000-horsepower class along with, now 74 pole positions in what is, this weekend his 400th race. When Tony wins, it’s big, and when he loses, that’s just as big. Lately, Schumacher has been competitive and has stayed in the top ledge of points, although at this minute still needing to qualify for Countdown to the Championship.

Jenna, on the other hand is simply living the dream and can’t wipe that big smile from her face. It’s her second pro race and she’s qualified for both. She won her first race down any dragstrip against a seven-time champ and she’s now getting air time on television in her second race. This is obviously a David/Goliath intervention - who would have thought it might happen twice in three races?

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About this article
Series NHRA
Event Seattle
Track Pacific Raceways
Drivers Tony Schumacher, Jenna Haddock
Article type Analysis