Indy ORP: Tony Schumacher preview

SCHUMACHER SET FOR ANNUAL VISIT TO INDY INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 26 - If one wanted to put an immediate smile on the face of U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, one would only have to utter a few choice words - Mac Tools...

SCHUMACHER SET FOR ANNUAL VISIT TO INDY

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 26 - If one wanted to put an immediate smile on the face of U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, one would only have to utter a few choice words - Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Having claimed six victories since 2000 in the NHRA's most prestigious race, Schumacher has pretty much made O'Reilly Raceway Park his personal playground. "I guess you could say that," said the defending NHRA POWERade world champion. "But, please remember, this is a different year. We're not a team that believes history will dictate the future."

It will be hard for most observers to not consider Schumacher the favorite to win another U.S. Nationals title this weekend. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that he's riding a five-race win streak.

Entering Indy, the Chicago-area resident is on the verge of breaking or tying a group of NHRA records. Specifically, after capturing the Reading, Pa. event two weeks ago, he's now one win short of tying Joe Amato's Top Fuel career victories mark, which stands at 52.

"That would be terrific if we could tie the record at the biggest race of the year," he added. "It's special enough when you win Indy, no less tying a record that seemed so unreachable when we started the season."

While Schumacher is eager to deliver another U.S. Nationals victory to Soldiers around the world, he's also fully aware that the Countdown to One phase of the Countdown to the Championship is about to begin in Charlotte, N.C. the middle of next month.

After pocketing 10 wins, Schumacher has compiled a 526-point lead in the standings. However, he will watch his huge advantage decrease to a mere 30 points in a few short weeks.

"We know that's the deal," he offered. "We just need to keep taking care of our own business and everything will fall into place. There's no reason to stress out about anything. We have a great team that can handle pressure. We're looking forward to these last seven races."

In '08, Schumacher is attempting to take his fifth straight crown and his sixth career title. The latter would be a Top Fuel record.

"We've clearly put ourselves in a good position to take home another POWERade trophy," he said. "But, we're going to have to keep performing well in the next three months if we're going to finish the job."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato