Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Schumacher Eliminated In Quarterfinals
U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost a quarterfinal round race to Brandon Bernstein here Sunday in the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Schumacher, who did not have lane choice, smoked the tires just before half track as Bernstein motored on through to a 3.837-second pass at 319.22 mph.
"Given how well we did in qualifying the last two days, it's a little disheartening to go out so early here today," said the seven-time world champion. "But, we're not going to let this result get us down. Like our Army Strong Soldiers, we never accept defeat and we'll never quit."
After grabbing the third starting spot, Schumacher was hopeful his first victory of the season was forthcoming in the Garden State. However, it was not to be.
"We may have hurt ourselves in the first round even though we got by (Dominick) Lagana," said Schumacher. "He red lit (starting line foul) and we got the win light, but we ended up spinning the tires and gave up lane choice as a result. I didn't think it would be an issue, but I guess it was since all of the second round losers smoked the tires in the right lane."
Schumacher's early round departure cost him two positions in the standings - he dropped from second to fourth.
'We have a long way to go before the Countdown to 1 begins and the points are reset (eight races remain before the playoffs)," he said. "I'm very confident we'll be winning races and challenging for the top spot long before we get to that part of the schedule."
Like Schumacher, Antron Brown, aboard the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, absorbed a quarterfinal-round loss.
Following a first-round win over David Grubnic, Brown could not negotiate his way down the track against defending world champion, Larry Dixon, in round two.
"That's the way drag racing is," said the New Jersey native, who remained fifth in the points. "We were trying to run similar to what we did in the opening round, but the track wouldn't hold it. All we can do is pick ourselves up and go on. We'll just have to find a way to win the next two races."
Schumacher and Brown will have a weekend off before traveling to Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway (June 17-19) and Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio (June 23-26), respectively.
"I think I can speak for Antron in saying we're going to have to put the Englishtown race in the rear view mirror and move forward," said Schumacher. "We have to stay positive."