Brainerd: Tony Schumacher preview

SCHUMACHER TO CONTINUE PURSUIT OF RECORD BRAINERD, Minn., August 5 - Having won three straight races, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, heads for Brainerd International Raceway here this weekend for the Lucas Oil ...

SCHUMACHER TO CONTINUE PURSUIT OF RECORD

BRAINERD, Minn., August 5 - Having won three straight races, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, heads for Brainerd International Raceway here this weekend for the Lucas Oil Nationals.

After completing a sweep of the NHRA's "Western Swing" two weeks ago, Schumacher is now just three wins short of tying Joe Amato's Top Fuel career victory mark, which stands at 52.

"Man, it's hard to comprehend that we're approaching that kind of a record," said the five-time world champion. "To be in the position that we're in right now really proves that the U.S. Army team is clearly one of the best teams that's ever been assembled in the history of the sport."

Beyond the record book, Schumacher and his team remain focused on the ultimate mission of capturing a fifth consecutive world title. To that end, the Lucas Oil Nationals becomes the immediate challenge.

"We never, ever look ahead," added the Chicago-area resident. "We're quite aware that the other teams are always looking to take us down, so it's on us to be Army Strong just like our Soldiers are. If you're prepared emotionally and physically, you can handle anything."

Schumacher, who has already clinched the top seed in the Countdown to One phase of the Countdown to the Championship, is quick to say that he enjoys the annual trip to Minnesota's Land of the Lakes.

"It's great up there," he said. "The fans turn out from all over, including Canada. With all of the campers that come into town, I've heard people compare the Brainerd race weekend to NASCAR's Talladega (Ala.) weekends. Now, that's saying something."

If recent results are any indication, Schumacher should be competitive this weekend. He has two career wins (2000 & 2004) along with another final round appearance (2006) at BIR. Additionally, he posted the fastest speed in NHRA history (337.58 mph) in 2005.

"They have one of the longest concrete launch pads on the tour, which is nice," he offered. "That aside, we just want to keep winning races the next few weeks so by the time the Countdown to One begins in Charlotte next month we'll be fully prepared." Schumacher has led the Top Fuel points since the season opener at Pomona, Calif. in February.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato