SCHUMACHER LOSES IN FIRST ROUND JOLIET, Ill., June 7 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a rare opening round race here Sunday in the United Association Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Schumacher, who had...
SCHUMACHER LOSES IN FIRST ROUND
JOLIET, Ill., June 7 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a rare opening round race here Sunday in the United Association Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
Schumacher, who had gone 35 straight races without a first round loss, smoked the tires against 15th-place qualifier, Terry Haddock, who went on to record a 3.974- second pass at 300.53 mph.
"It's pretty simple - they got down the track and we didn't," said the Chicago- area resident. "We had such a good couple of days of qualifying, so I'm not sure why we suddenly didn't have a clean run. But, that's drag racing and we just have to put this one out of our minds and move on."
Schumacher left the starting line before Haddock and was ahead at the 330-foot mark, but his U.S. Army dragster began to lose traction at around half-track and Haddock steamed on by.
"As soon as I felt the tires go up I tried to pedal it a couple of times, but I just couldn't get the car to settle down," added the six-time world champion. "I'm sure the team is frustrated, but we'll definitely come back from this. We're like our Army Strong Soldiers - we know we have the strength to win. We've proven that already."
Schumacher went into the United Association Route 66 Nationals holding the Top Fuel lead over Antron Brown in the standings. Pending the final race results and subsequent release of the official points, that advantage could be wiped away. "I'm really not worried about that," he added. "We want to find out what went wrong here today and then get prepared for next weekend."
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series moves to Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 11-14, for the United Association SuperNationals. Schumacher is the defending event champion.
"I'm glad we have another race right away," offered Schumacher. "This way, we can get right back up on the horse, if you know what I mean. We're going to go up to New Jersey looking to return to our winning ways."