SCHUMACHER EXITS IN QUARTERFINALS MADISON, Ill., May 3 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a close quarterfinal round race to Shawn Langdon here Sunday in the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International ...
SCHUMACHER EXITS IN QUARTERFINALS
MADISON, Ill., May 3 - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a close quarterfinal round race to Shawn Langdon here Sunday in the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.
The six-time world champion posted a respectable 3.895-second pass at 299.46 mph, but it was a bit slower than Langdon's 3.885-second run at 311.05 mph.
"It really was an awesome race," said Schumacher, who competed in his 275th event. "We both left the starting line about the same time and I nudged ahead at half track, but he picked me up and just got by me at the finish line.
"To be honest, given what my U.S. Army team had to endure after the first round, that race against Langdon was truly a terrific performance. The whole team came together today just like our Army Strong Soldiers do every day."
In his first round win over Todd Simpson, Schumacher's engine exploded into a ball of fire at the top end of the track. As a result, the U.S. Army team had a lot more work to deal with than the normal between rounds service.
"They're a great bunch," added Schumacher. "They got that car together and we went right down the track. That's all you can ask for. I wouldn't trade these guys for the world."
Schumacher's quarterfinal round loss marked the first time since the ACDelco Gatornationals in March that he had not advanced to at least the semifinals.
"We have nothing to complain about," said the Chicago-area resident. "We're definitely going in the right direction. We'll go enjoy Mother's Day next weekend and then head for Bristol."
After a weekend off, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series will move to Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, May 15-17, for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals. Schumacher is the defending event champion.