SCHUMACHER TAKEN OUT BY U.S. ARMY RACING TEAMMATE
LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 3, 2011 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost a quarterfinal round race here Sunday to his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Schumacher recorded a 3.895-second pass at 315.49 mph, but it didn't quite measure up to Brown's sizzling 3.845-second run at 320.58 mph.
"We put up a terrific run, but Antron and his guys really hit it out of the park," said Schumacher. "I can't complain about the U.S. Army team's effort today. We displayed the mental, physical and emotional strength that our Army Strong Soldiers have."
After qualifying fourth, Schumacher eliminated Troy Buff in the first round with a 3.879- second trip at 318.17 mph. It was his 555th career round win.
"I didn't even realize I had reached that number," offered the seven-time world champion. "To be honest, it doesn't mean very much. I much rather would have gotten the event win."
This season, Schumacher is attempting to return to the Top Fuel throne after being knocked off same last year by Larry Dixon. He had previously won six consecutive world championships.
"There's no doubt we want it back," said Schumacher. "We definitely have the team and car to accomplish that goal. We had a little bit of a setback here in Las Vegas, but there's a tremendous amount of racing left in the season including the Countdown to 1. We'll be just fine."
We displayed the mental, physical and emotional strength that our Army Strong Soldiers have.
The U.S. Army team, along with the rest of the Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel and Funny Car teams, will stay over an extra day at The Strip to test in preparation for the coming two races in Charlotte and Houston.
"I'm sure Mike Green (his crew chief) has a list of things he wants to work on," said the Chicago-area resident. "We'll be ready to get after it again in a couple of weeks."
After disposing of Morgan Lucas and Schumacher, Brown leveled Doug Kalitta in the semifinals to set up a final round match up with Brandon Bernstein.
Competing in his 220th professional race, the New Jersey native easily handled Bernstein with a 3.887-second jaunt at 318.81 mph.
Schumacher (third in the points), and Brown (second in the standings), will now have a weekend off before traveling to zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., April 14-17, for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 4Wide Nationals.