Pomona II: Tony Schumacher final report

SCHUMACHER LOSES IN SECOND ROUND POMONA, Calif., November 16 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a close second round race here Sunday to Rod Fuller in the Auto Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club ...

SCHUMACHER LOSES IN SECOND ROUND

POMONA, Calif., November 16 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a close second round race here Sunday to Rod Fuller in the Auto Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club Raceway. It marked the first time in 12 races the Chicago-area resident did not make it to the final round.

Schumacher posted a quicker 3.853-second pass to Fuller's 3.862-second run, but the latter was just a bit faster off the starting line and thus got to the finish line ahead of the recently crowned POWERade world champion.

"It was a terrific race," said Schumacher. "You have to give credit where credit is due - Rod and his team got the job done today. The fans got their money's worth, that's for sure."

Schumacher ended the 2008 season having tied Greg Anderson's single season victory record (15) and single season round win record (76).

"There's no doubt we would have preferred to set those records, but we had one hell of a year just the same," added the now six-time world champ. "This season will be talked about for a long time by a lot of people."

With 2009 already in his sights, Schumacher will be welcoming a new crew chief and a whole new crew. Alan Johnson, his crew chief for the last five years, is leaving the organization to start his own Top Fuel and Funny Car operation and the entire Army crew is going with him.

"We'll have an adjustment period," he said. "But, we'll be working real hard to maintain the standard of excellence that our soldiers have to come to expect from us. The goals will be clear - to win races and to contend for another title. There's no other way to approach it."

While Schumacher will collect his fifth straight POWERade championship trophy on Monday night at the annual NHRA awards ceremony in Los Angeles, his team will also be recognized for winning the Top Fuel Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship.

"I've been blessed the last five years to have been surrounded by the best team in the business," said Schumacher. "I will miss each and every one of them."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Rod Fuller