SCHUMACHER TO KEEP PLUGGING AWAY AT MAPLE GROVE MOHNTON, Pa., October 5, 2010 - After capturing his fifth win of the season two weeks ago at the Texas Motorplex, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher firmly believes the door is...
SCHUMACHER TO KEEP PLUGGING AWAY AT MAPLE GROVE
MOHNTON, Pa., October 5, 2010 - After capturing his fifth win of the season two weeks ago at the Texas Motorplex, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher firmly believes the door is now ajar in terms of world championship aspirations.
"There's no doubt in my mind we have an opportunity to go out and get our seventh straight title," said the Chicago-area resident as he packed for a weekend trip to Maple Grove Raceway outside of Reading, Pa. for the Toyo Tires Nationals. "You really couldn't say that prior to us winning in Texas."
With his 66th career victory, Schumacher was able to slice what was a 148-point lead for Larry Dixon to 94 points as the NHRA's Countdown to 1 heads down the home stretch. He remains in third-place, but is just 25 points in back of his teammate, Cory McClenathan, in second.
"We're in an intense fight to be sure," added Schumacher. "And, like our Army Strong Soldiers, we're going to stay focused on the job at hand. There are three more races left on the table and we're going to try and win them all."
Following the Maple Grove Raceway event, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will move to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over Halloween weekend before traveling to Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. for the season finale the middle of next month.
"It's a pretty simple situation - we have to take as many rounds away as possible from both Larry and Cory, while winning races," said Schumacher. "My U.S. Army team has already proven it can perform at a high level. So, I'm quite confident we'll get the job done."
With cool temperatures expected at "The Grove" this weekend, Schumacher thinks a national record for elapsed time could be set which would account for an additional 20 bonus points.
Of course, the seven-time world champion would like to be the one to break his current mark of 3.771-seconds, established in 2008 at Virginia Motorsports Park.
"If the weather conditions are proper, it can definitely be done," he said. "If we can grab those extra 20 points, it would be huge. Given the chance, I'm sure we'll get after it just like a lot of other teams will."
When it comes to Maple Grove Raceway, Schumacher clearly enjoys competing there. He leads the Top Fuel class with four career wins, with the most recent one coming in 2008.
"It's a terrific track with a lot of history," he said. "We all can't wait to get to 'The Grove'."