SCHUMACHER TAKES FIFTH WIN OF THE YEAR; HANDS TROPHY TO KALITTA MOTORSPORTS TEAM ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 22 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, pocketed his fifth victory of the season here Sunday in the Lucas...
SCHUMACHER TAKES FIFTH WIN OF THE YEAR; HANDS TROPHY TO KALITTA MOTORSPORTS TEAM
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 22 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, pocketed his fifth victory of the season here Sunday in the Lucas Oil SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
In his final round confrontation with Brandon Bernstein, Schumacher recorded a slower 4.589-second pass at 325.06 mph, but his .034-second reaction time at the starting line versus Bernstein's .081-second reaction time was the difference.
"With the passing of (Funny Car driver) Scott Kalitta yesterday, today's race was extremely tough to get through from an emotional standpoint," said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion as he held back tears following a trophy presentation to the Kalitta Motorsports team. "But, we managed to take care of business, just like Scott would have wanted us to do."
On the way to his match up with Bernstein, Schumacher leveled Steve Torrence, Antron Brown and his Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan.
"Under normal circumstances, we would be ecstatic to have captured another win but this is not a day for celebrating anything," added Schumacher. "We've lost a member of our extended family and the U.S. Army team is hurting right along with the Kalitta family."
This was the first career victory for Schumacher at historic Raceway Park. He's now reduced the list of tracks where he has failed to win to three - Atlanta Dragway, Virginia Motorsports Park and Heartland Park Topeka.
"It was nice to go deep into the day for once here," he said. "Admittedly, this track has given us fits. Maybe, we have finally disposed of the hard times in New Jersey."
Having padded his big lead in the Top Fuel standings, Schumacher and his U.S. Army team will now head for Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio next weekend for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.
Next Sunday's race will mark the official halfway point of the 24-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
"It's hard to believe that we've reached that stage of the season already," said Schumacher. "It would be kind of neat if we could say that we led the points from the season opener through the 12th race."
With his 46th career win, Schumacher is now six wins short of tying Joe Amato for the all-time Top Fuel victory record.