SCHUMACHER WANTS TO CLOSE THE DEAL AT BANDIMERE MORRISON, Colo., July 20, 2010 - Having collected a runner-up finish last Sunday in Sonoma, Calif., U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will be looking to take one more step here...
SCHUMACHER WANTS TO CLOSE THE DEAL AT BANDIMERE
MORRISON, Colo., July 20, 2010 - Having collected a runner-up finish last Sunday in Sonoma, Calif., U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will be looking to take one more step here this weekend in the MOPAR Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Located just outside of Denver at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Bandimere Speedway is the third and final stop on the NHRA's annual Western Swing.
"It's our last opportunity to get a win on 'The Swing'," said Schumacher as he made his way west yet again. "We got close in Sonoma, but couldn't finish it off. Hopefully, we'll have a chance to redeem ourselves."
Schumacher, who is second in the standings, lost to point's leader Larry Dixon in the final round of the FRAM-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway. It was his sixth loss in nine races this year against Dixon.
"We gave him a good run until we broke a piston," offered Schumacher. "But, that's racing. Things like that are going to happen from time to time.
"You just have to keep your head up and move on - like our Army Strong Soldiers do. Those brave men and women never get flustered. And, we won't either."
With the move this weekend to a venue situated at more than 5,800 feet above sea level, Schumacher knows his crew chief (Mike Green) and team will be challenged on a lot of fronts.
'The altitude is the main factor," said the Chicago-area resident. "It affects everything from tune-ups to aerodynamics. You really have to keep adjusting the car to make it right, while producing power."
In 2005 and 2008, Schumacher had the proper combination on the way to MOPAR Mile- High Nationals victories. The '08 win was part of a Western Swing sweep.
"Despite the thin air, I love racing at Bandimere," he said. "It can get pretty hot there, but the track has a cooling system that can drop the racing surface temperature by up to 20 degrees. It clearly improves the action."
With two races remaining before the Countdown to 1 (this weekend's race and the one in Brainerd, Minn. next month), Schumacher remains focused on building momentum.
"We have to think like that," he said. "Once we get to Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals, it will be show time and the curtain goes up, ready or not. We can't run the risk of not being completely prepared."
Schumacher, who is seeking his seventh consecutive world championship and the eighth of his career, understands the road to another Full Throttle trophy will be jammed with serious contenders.
"That's for sure," he related. "Once the points are reset for the Countdown to 1, it will be up for grabs. It's going to be real exciting for the fans."
Among Schumacher's competitors for the title will be his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, who is currently fourth in standings.
"He has a lot of talent," said Schumacher of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driver. "He's one of many we'll have to deal with over those last six races."