Heartland Park Topeka
SCHUMACHER LOSES IN SEMIFINALS
TOPEKA, Kan., - U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, lost a semifinal round race to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey, here Sunday in the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. Schumacher's 4.026-second pass at 271.62 mph proved to be much slower than Massey's 3.892-second run at 313.44 mph.
"We spun the tires and I think put a cylinder out pretty early and then the car was laboring from that point on," said the seven-time world champion. "Spencer and his team did what they had to do. They got down what was a very hot track (124 degrees). Unfortunately, we couldn't do likewise without some issues."
Despite failing to claim his first victory of the season (and his second straight at Heartland Park), Schumacher did make a big move in the Top Fuel standings. He jumped from fourth to second and now trails leader, Del Worsham, by 79 points.
"Man, we would have loved to have delivered a win to our Army Strong Soldiers here today, especially with Memorial Day coming up," said Schumacher. "But, the guys worked really hard all weekend long and that's all you can ask for."
On the way to his meeting with Massey, Schumacher took out David Grubnic in the first round and then his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in round two.
Schumacher and Brown, who drives the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, ended up in a "pedalfest" after both cars lost traction early on. The former was able to get his car to settle down first before taking the win light.
Their quarterfinal round confrontation in Kansas followed a final round matchup between the two at Atlanta Dragway last weekend, which Brown won.
"I'm sure Tony had revenge on his mind," said Brown with a smile. "Listen - Tony is going to be one of many drivers we'll have to deal with going forward. This championship chase is going to be a real dogfight all season long."
Schumacher and Brown, who dropped from second to fifth in the points, will now take Memorial Day weekend off prior to traveling to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, June 2-5, in Englishtown, N.J. for the NHRA SuperNationals.
It will be a homecoming for Brown, who hails from Chesterfield, N.J., which is located near Trenton.