SCHUMACHER SEEKING FIRST WIN OF SEASON WILL HONOR U.S. ARMY RESERVE AT zMAX DRAGWAY
CONCORD, N.C., April 12, 2011 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will look to honor the U.S. Army Reserve in the proper way here this weekend by collecting his first victory of the 2011 season.
Schumacher's championship-winning Top Fuel dragster will pay tribute to the men and women of the Army Reserve in the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway outside of Charlotte.
"For more than 100 years, our Army Reserve Soldiers have been playing an important role in helping protect our freedom," said the Chicago-area resident. "We definitely want to present a nice trophy to them come Sunday afternoon."
Founded in 1908, Reserve Soldiers receive the same training as active-duty Soldiers and are offered the opportunity to serve near home until they are needed to deploy. Reserve Soldiers combine civilian experience with military training to provide specialized skills for military missions around the world.
Coming off a quarterfinal round appearance in Las Vegas two weeks ago, Schumacher is clearly focused on getting his 68th career win in round four of the 22 race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
"Of course, to accomplish that goal, we'll have to deal with the four-wide format down in Charlotte," he said. "To be honest, I didn't adjust to it very well last year. We'll be better prepared this time around."
In the 2010 spring race at zMAX Dragway, racers competed for the first time side-by- side-by-side-by-side at what's been labeled as the "Bellagio" of drag strips. After qualifying fourth, Schumacher lost in the second round of eliminations.
"We had a good car there last spring," he recalled. "Hopefully, we'll return with an even quicker and faster car and I will be better at the starting line."
Schumacher will travel to the Tar Heel State holding third in the standings, 35 points removed from his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in second and 43 points behind Del Worsham in first.
"It's early, but I'm not surprised at how close the points are right now," said the seven- time world champion. "It's unbelievable how many great drivers and teams there are in the Top Fuel class. You just never know who is going to rise up to win on a given Sunday."
Schumacher does have a Charlotte win to his credit - from the 2008 fall race when he moved past Joe Amato to become the winningest driver in Top Fuel history.
"That was a moment in time I will never forget," he offered. "For that reason alone, zMAX Dragway will always be a special place for me."