Gainesville: Schumacher falls in semifinals

Gainesville, Florida (April 21): After waiting five weeks to complete the rain-delayed 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was back on track as he tried to put the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster...

Gainesville, Florida (April 21): After waiting five weeks to complete the rain-delayed 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was back on track as he tried to put the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster in the winner's circle for the first time in the 2001 NHRA drag racing season.

"The Sarge" started the first round of eliminations by defeating No. 6 qualifier, Andrew Cowin with a 4.744 second blast at 310.77 mph. The higher qualified Cowin ran a 4.962 e.t. in his losing effort.

"We definitely benefited from the rain-delay," said Schumacher, "we were struggling when we were here in March."

"Dan (Olson - crew chief) has gotten us going in the right direction again."

Schumacher's second round match-up was against the N.Y. Yankee's dragster, driven by Mike Dunn. The race over quickly as Dunn smoked his tires 100 feet into the run and Schumacher streaked down track with a 4.699 e.t. at 309.29 mph. The win would put Schumacher in his second semifinal of the 2001 season.

"That was a big win for the whole Army team," said a jubilant Schumacher, "we needed to go some rounds today."

In the Semifinals, "The Sarge" was defeated by the event winner, Larry Dixon. Schumacher ran a respectible 4.726 e.t., but it was no match for Dixon's 4.636 second run.

"We left some on the table on that run," said Schumacher. "This whole Army team worked extremely hard today and we seem to have our confidence back."

The Army Top Fuel team will stay in Florida to test Sunday, then head to Atlanta for two days of additional testing before they continue to Bristol, Tennessee for the inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals.

-MD

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Andrew Cowin