Schumacher takes points lead to the Grove

Park Ridge, Ill. (Sept. 11): Just as he did one year ago in route to the 1999 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship, Tony Schumacher took over the points lead at the U.S. Nationals and looks to extend that lead at the Keystone Nationals at Maple...

Park Ridge, Ill. (Sept. 11): Just as he did one year ago in route to the 1999 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship, Tony Schumacher took over the points lead at the U.S. Nationals and looks to extend that lead at the Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Southern Pennsylvania.

Coming off a major sponsor change, a U.S. Nationals victory and a rain date in Englishtown, Schumacher is ready to get back to business as he defends his 1999 title.

"We have been going nonstop for about seven weeks now to get Army deal up and running," said Schumacher, "the pace should settle down a little and we can concentrate on winning some more races and holding on to the championship."

Schumacher's last visit to Maple Grove Raceway resulted in a runner up finish to Joe Amato. Schumacher smoked his tires in the finals and Amato cruised to victory while Schumacher maintained his points lead.

"The point's battle is about the same as it was last year," commented the 1999 Champion, "there are just fewer of us that still are fighting and no one can seem to pull away."

After the rain date in Englishtown, Schumacher still holds a 31 point lead over rival Gary Scelzi. Schumacher has confidence in his crew chief, Dan Olson, as the Army team heads into the final six races of the year. Last year, Schumacher went to three semifinals and two finals in the last six races and also captured his first career victory.

"Our whole Army team knows that we have had success at the tracks we have to run in the next couple of months," said Schumacher, "we don't plan on giving up the championship. They'll have to take it from us, if they want it."

Qualifying for the Keystone Nationals is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 16. ESPN2 will televise the 16th Annual Keystone Nationals. Check local listings for times.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi