Commerce: Tony Schumacher preview

250TH RACE LOOMS FOR SCHUMACHER WILL HELP HONOR U.S. ARMY RESERVE'S 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMERCE, Ga., April 22 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will compete in his 250th race here this weekend in the famed Summit Racing...

250TH RACE LOOMS FOR SCHUMACHER WILL HELP HONOR U.S. ARMY RESERVE'S 100TH ANNIVERSARY

COMMERCE, Ga., April 22 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will compete in his 250th race here this weekend in the famed Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Schumacher, who leads the Top Fuel standings, will also help pay tribute to the U.S. Army Reserve's 100th anniversary during round six of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. His Top Fuel dragster will carry special 100th anniversary decals which include the tag line - Army Reserve, 100 Years Strong.

"This is a big weekend for us all around," said Schumacher. "Aside from reaching a career milestone, I'm looking forward to helping honor the U.S. Army Reserve. Obviously, we want to win this race to for all of those men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom."

The history of the Army Reserve dates back to April of 1908 when Congress established the Army's first reserve force. Today, the Army Reserve consists of 205,000 soldiers and is an operational, expeditionary and domestic force that is an essential piece of the U.S. Army.

In addition to soaking up the Army Reserve's history this weekend, Schumacher will also spend time reflecting on a professional career that has now spanned some 13 seasons.

"I just can't believe that I've reached my 250th race," he said. "Time truly has moved by swiftly. I can only hope that I have another 250 races in me so I can catch up to John Force."

Force, who drives the Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car, will be participating in his 500th race at Atlanta Dragway.

"I want to congratulate John for making it to 500," said the Chicago-area resident. "That's a tremendous achievement. Apparently, he told the media that unless he croaked that I was never going to catch him. He said he's never going to quit. Well, unless he wants to run his Funny Car on Geritol, he may not have a choice.

"Seriously, I can only wish that I have as long and productive career as John Force has had. He's meant so much to the sport of drag racing. I really do hope he stays around forever."

Heading into the 27th annual Southern Nationals, Schumacher will be looking to emerge from a mini slump. After winning two of the opening three races, he failed to get out of the second round in the last two events.

"We've had our struggles of late, but we still lead the points and that's what is most important," he offered. "We're certainly going to try real hard to return to our winning ways."

Atlanta Dragway is one of four tracks on the 24-race NHRA tour (excluding the new facility in Charlotte) where Schumacher has failed to notch a win.

"It would be nice to cross Atlanta Dragway off that dreaded list," he said. "It's yet another mission for our U.S. Army team to accomplish."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Tony Schumacher