Gainesville: Tony Schumacher preview

SCHUMACHER FOCUSED ON FOURTH GATORNATIONALS WIN GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 10 - After putting together a dream season last year, one would think U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has little to shoot for other than another world...

SCHUMACHER FOCUSED ON FOURTH GATORNATIONALS WIN

GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 10 - After putting together a dream season last year, one would think U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has little to shoot for other than another world championship in 2009.

"Man, that's so far removed from the truth it's not even funny," said the Chicago- area resident. "We've got plenty of races to win including this weekend's big one." The "big one" Schumacher is referencing happens to be the 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. The six-time world champion is one of four Top Fuel drivers in NHRA history to have won the "Gators" three times.

"Like the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the Gatornationals is definitely one of the premier races on our schedule," he said. "Every driver wants to win one at some point or another before their career is done."

Should Schumacher collect his 57th "Wally" on Sunday afternoon, he would tie Joe Amato for the most Gatornationals Top Fuel titles.

"When you're mentioned in the same sentence as Joe Amato regarding any record, that's saying something," he offered. "We're going to give it our best shot to get that fourth 'Gators' victory. It will take a huge effort, but just like our Army Strong Soldiers my team clearly has the strength to get to the winner's circle."

Even though it is still early in the 2009 campaign, Schumacher believes his new team could use a "shot in the arm" in the Sunshine State. They head for Gainesville holding fourth-place in the standings, 79 points removed from Antron Brown in the top spot.

"We've been running pretty well, but there's room for improvement," he said. "Hopefully, this weekend we'll break out in a big way."

After qualifying fifth, Schumacher went on to claim last year's version of the Gatornationals with a final round win over Brandon Bernstein. He was also victorious in 2007.

"We've been successful down there in recent years, so we'll look to keep rolling along this weekend."

-credit: dsr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Brandon Bernstein