Dallas: Tony Schumacher preview

SCHUMACHER TARGETING ULTIMATE GOAL ENNIS, Tex., September 16 - The records have been falling like hot cakes in recent weeks, but U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, has never lost sight of what he really wants come the end of...

SCHUMACHER TARGETING ULTIMATE GOAL

ENNIS, Tex., September 16 - The records have been falling like hot cakes in recent weeks, but U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, has never lost sight of what he really wants come the end of the 2008 season in mid-November - another NHRA POWERade world championship.

"Even though it's been nice that we've set some records the last couple of weeks, what we're really focused on is a fifth straight POWERade trophy," said the Chicago- area resident. "We're determined to provide a pre-holiday gift to our Army Strong soldiers."

Schumacher heads for the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex outside of Dallas this weekend still holding the Top Fuel points lead. He's been at the top of the standings since the season opener in February. After posting his seventh consecutive victory last weekend in the Carolinas Nationals, the five-time world champion widened his advantage over second-place Antron Brown to 46 points.

"Obviously, we had a great weekend down in North Carolina," he added. "The U.S. Army team, yet again, performed in a machine-like way. To be able to gain points on your closest pursuer is always a positive thing."

While success has followed Schumacher and his team for the better part of three months, they will not be resting on their laurels in the Lone Star State.

"I will guarantee you that," he said. "We'll be putting forth the same kind of effort that we have been all year long. In fact, we know we'll have to step it up even more with each passing race. The target on our backs gets bigger by the day."

With the trip to the Texas Motorplex looming, Schumacher can take solace in the fact that he's a three-time winner there (1999, 2004 & 2005). The 1999 victory was particularly special since it was his first career win.

"Funny how that goes," he said. "I just broke Joe Amato's Top Fuel career win record and we're now going to the place where I won my very first race. While it was a long time ago, it also feels like it just happened yesterday. You always remember your first win."

Schumacher is one of only three Top Fuel drivers who have won three times at the Texas Motorplex. The others are Cory McClenathan and Gary Scelzi, both Don Schumacher Racing teammates.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Cory McClenathan