Park Ridge, Ill. (March 22): When Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher last visited Houston Raceway Park he was battered and bruised from the injuries he sustained in his horrific qualifying crash in Memphis only three weeks prior. This time "The...
Park Ridge, Ill. (March 22): When Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher last visited Houston Raceway Park he was battered and bruised from the injuries he sustained in his horrific qualifying crash in Memphis only three weeks prior. This time "The Sarge" is healed and ready for competition as he prepares to run the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil, March 22-25.
After testing their Army dragster earlier in the week, "The Sarge" is more than eager to get down to business as he searches for his first win of the 2001 season.
"We have been struggling a bit," said Schumacher. "We thought we knew where the problem was, but we needed to get some test laps in to confirm it."
"We got the results we wanted in Dallas this week, so we are ready to race."
Schumacher is currently seventh in NHRA Winston points; trailing leader Darrell Russell by only 98 points.
At the first of last year's two Houston events, Schumacher qualified No. 6 and lost in the finals to Larry Dixon. In the fall race, he made only one qualifying attempt before he stepped out of the car for safety reasons.
"I really wanted to race last fall," said Schumacher, "we were battling with (Gary) Scelzi for the championship and I didn't want to miss a race."
"Unfortunately, my body just wasn't healed enough for me to be safe in the racecar."
Schumacher also spent time this week as he does before every national event, touring area high schools to talk about teamwork, the US Army and NHRA Drag Racing.
"It's been great to go to all these schools," said Schumacher, "many kids have never seen a Top Fuel car in real life."
"I am really proud to represent the Army and our sport."