SCHUMACHER TAKEN OUT IN FINALS BY U.S. ARMY RACING TEAMMATE
COMMERCE, Ga., - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost a close final round race here Sunday to his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Schumacher posted a 3.905-second pass at 315.86 mph, but it was just off of Brown's 3.856-second run at 318.69 mph in his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster. It was Brown's second win of the season and his 11th career Top Fuel victory.
"It was a classic race between two great teams," said Schumacher, who remains winless at Atlanta Dragway. "The good news is the U.S. Army won with Antron as well. We were both very much Army Strong today."
Schumacher was off the starting line first with a sizzling .045-second reaction time, but Brown picked up the seven-time world champion at the eighth-mile mark and then moved on by for the victory.
"Obviously, when you get to the finals, you always want to close the deal," said Schumacher. "But, we had a terrific day just the same. This is definitely a performance we can build on."
"We just kept creeping up on it all day and finally hit on the right combination against Tony," said Brown. "I'm happy we were able to deliver a win to our Soldiers. They do so much for us."
On the way to his meeting with Brown, the Chicago-area resident knocked off Ike Maier, Larry Dixon and his other Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey.
We'll just have to wait until next year to give it another shot.
"We had to get by some really tough competitors," said Schumacher. "Dixon and Spencer are extremely tough outs as we all know. I'm very excited about the road ahead." Schumacher's loss to Brown meant that Atlanta Dragway remains the only track on the NHRA schedule where he has failed to collect a trophy.
"I guess the beat goes on," offered Schumacher. "We'll just have to wait until next year to give it another shot. We're not going to dwell on this by any means and, to be perfectly honest, it's really not that important in the grand scheme of things. We're already looking forward to getting to Topeka (Kan.) next weekend."
Schumacher, who remains fourth in the standings, and Brown, who jumped into second, will travel to Heartland Park Topeka, May 20-22, for the NHRA Summer Nationals. Schumacher is the defending event champion.
"Again, the future is very bright for the U.S. Army team," said Schumacher. "We're going to win our share of races. It's just a matter of time before we'll be hoisting a trophy in the winner's circle."