BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Seven-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher can claim another milestone on Sunday at the Circle K Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
"Just being tied with Garlits for anything is a career highlight," said Schumacher, 44, who owns nearly every Top Fuel record including most career titles (72) and wins in one season (15 in 2008).
The popular driver hopes his U.S. Army team will match last year's start when it won two of the first four event titles but continue that run throughout the year.
"We had a good start to the year but ended up seventh in the final standings. We knew we had a winning car that probably could have won the championship. We were winning races and had the points lead. But (crew chief Mike Green and assistant Neal Strausbaugh) didn't feel the car was doing what it was supposed to do. It was going out and going fast but it was detonating the engine, blowing itself up.
"They made the correct call and made changes they had to do. The reason NHRA was started was to keep drag racing safe. Mike and Neal made a responsible call to make the right changes that got the Army dragster running safe and without blowing up engines and putting oil on the track.
"We're not used to that, but we are specialists in adversity. We've always been that way. We always get through those things. This year will be a great example of proving that.
"We didn't fail last year; failing would be showing up completely unprepared. A failure is when you walk into a business meeting without putting the numbers together, knowing what the projections should be and are not prepared. Not getting the sale isn't a failure if you were prepared and lost out because there are other good people out there with other good products. You're not going to get them all."
Don Schumacher Racing