SCHUMACHER RECALLS PAST VISIT TO GATEWAY INT'L RACEWAY MADISON, Ill., April 28 - Given everything U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has accomplished over the last five-plus years, one would think a simple event win from 2006...
SCHUMACHER RECALLS PAST VISIT TO GATEWAY INT'L RACEWAY
MADISON, Ill., April 28 - Given everything U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has accomplished over the last five-plus years, one would think a simple event win from 2006 would not rate very high on the radar screen.
"To the contrary, our win at Gateway International Raceway that year was extremely important," said the six-time world champion. "It was our first win of the year and little did we realize it was the beginning of the greatest comeback in NHRA history."
Schumacher went into the St. Louis '06 race (which at the time marked the halfway point in the season) holding seventh-place in the standings, 312 points behind the leader. He would go on to beat Brandon Bernstein in the finals and thus start a dramatic turnaround that would culminate with "The Run" at the season finale in Pomona, Calif.
"We were even as far back as 336 points and in eighth-place two races before St. Louis," added Schumacher. "That St. Louis race will always be special for obvious reasons."
Schumacher hopes the 2009 version of the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals will be just as special. This weekend, in the shadow of the famed St. Louis arch, the Chicago- area resident will be gunning for his third victory of the season.
"We've done quite well in recent weeks, so we don't want to lose any steam at Gateway," he said. "We know it will take a huge effort on Sunday, but just like our Army Strong Soldiers this team has proven it has the strength to get the job done."
Schumacher will carry a 39-point lead over second-place, Antron Brown, into round seven of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
"It's great we're sitting on top of the standings right now," he said. "But, there are plenty of races left and we're not going to sit back and relax for a second. If you do that the field will pass you by in a real hurry."