Charlotte: Tony Schumacher preview

SCHUMACHER PREPARED FOR SECOND SEASON CONCORD, N.C., September 9 - Riding a six-race winning streak, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, heads into the NHRA's second season - the Countdown to 1 - here this weekend in the ...

SCHUMACHER PREPARED FOR SECOND SEASON

CONCORD, N.C., September 9 - Riding a six-race winning streak, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, heads into the NHRA's second season - the Countdown to 1 - here this weekend in the inaugural Carolinas Nationals at recently opened zMAX Dragway.

Schumacher, who is coming off a victory two weeks ago at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, will take a 30-point lead into the initial round of the playoffs. "It's time to elevate our game," said the five-time world champion. "Everything to this point has been about positioning and building momentum. Now, we have to put up or shut up."

Relative to momentum, over the first 18 races, Schumacher and his U.S. Army team have clearly stockpiled a bunch. The Chicago-area resident has accumulated 11 victories and two other final round appearances.

Since the NHRA mandated 1,000-foot races for Top Fuel and Funny Car, Schumacher is undefeated with wins at Denver, Seattle, Sonoma, Calif., Brainerd, Minn., Reading, Pa. and Indianapolis.

Additionally, along the way, he broke his own records for most consecutive Top Fuel wins (6), most Top Fuel wins in a single season (11) and most consecutive round wins (currently at 24).

After the Indianapolis win, Schumacher also tied Joe Amato's record for most career Top Fuel victories, which stands at 52.

"Not to minimize what we've done to this point, but in my eyes all of those numbers won't mean that much if we don't perform well in these next six races," he added. "The real goal is to win another title. We've got to get another POWERade trophy for our soldiers."

Following the race this weekend in the heart of NASCAR country, the NHRA tour will move through Dallas, Memphis, Richmond, Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif. With the exception of Virginia Motorsports Park, Schumacher has recorded wins in recent years at all of the other venues.

"That's pretty comforting to know that," he said. "Of course, as I always say, the past is never a true indication of what's to come. You still have to go out and get the job done this time around.

"We're just going to take it a race at a time and with any kind of luck we'll be able to enjoy a fifth straight crown after it's all over with in Pomona."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato