Tony Schumacher, Chicago, U.S. Army dragster, six-time U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner, current POWERade Series Top Fuel points leader: "What can you say that hasn't already been said about Indy -- it's THE race for us. Everyone wants to win Indy...
Tony Schumacher, Chicago, U.S. Army dragster, six-time U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner, current POWERade Series Top Fuel points leader: "What can you say that hasn't already been said about Indy -- it's THE race for us. Everyone wants to win Indy at some point or another in their career. I've been extremely fortunate that I have had the kind of success that I've had there over the years. Hopefully, we can continue to ride the wave."
Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Matco Tools dragster, two-time U.S. Nationals Pro Stock Motorcycle winner going for his first win at the event in Top Fuel: "Indy is the one race we all shoot for on our schedule. Living in Indy, it's extra special to win in front of all your family and friends. Our Matco Tools team has done a great job all season long and hopefully we can maintain our No. 2 spot in the Countdown (to the Championship) before Charlotte. Winning the U.S. Nationals would be a great momentum builder before the Countdown begins."
Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi Ray & Shoup Chevy Impala, 2003 U.S. Nationals Funny Car winner, current POWERade Series points leader in Funny Car: "My No. 1 goal for Indy is to leave in first place with the bonus points in the Countdown, and my second goal is to leave with some winner's checks in my hand. The guys and I worked so hard to accomplish all that we have this year, and we had fun doing it. So, we hope that our consistency and the way our Levi, Ray & Shoup Impala has been running is a prelude to the rest of the year. For us to get as far as we have this year as the kind of team we are is pretty cool. We're just a single car, independent team with a low paid driver and crew chief, not a mega team like most of our competition. This year is just what I have always hoped for. And wow, it would be a dream come true to be World Champion when all the dust settles at the end of the season. Competing in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown is going to be a little distracting. Indy is so important all by itself. Since the Countdown to 1 is after Indy, being in a good position will take some pressure off of the points battle and will give me a little edge to concentrate on the Showdown. If we could win the Showdown, it would be icing on the cake."
Ashley Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 2005 U.S. Nationals Alcohol Dragster winner, seeking her first win at the event in Funny Car, and also the No. 1 seed in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown: "I'm excited to be heading back to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. I've actually spent a lot more time in Indianapolis lately since last year's race. A lot of my crew guys live in the area so it is great for them to be able to get together with their families. Indy isn't my home track but it is almost my home-away from home track. I won there in TAD and I am hoping to get a Funny Car win there as well. I'll be running a pink Rookie of the Year Castrol GTX Ford Mustang this year. I love pink and even my crew guys are looking forward to it. They think that the pink car will be intimidating for all the other guys in the category. Doubling up would be the ultimate. Last year we didn't get a chance to run in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown. Hopefully we'll stay in the top eight and be able to have a shot at winning that $100,000."
Dave Connolly, Elyria, Ohio, Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt, defending U.S. Nationals Pro Stock winner: "It's pretty cool. When you start your career everybody is striving to get their first pro win -- any national event, it doesn't matter at that time, but to have a U.S. Nationals win is incredible. That's the most prestigious race to win. It's just short of a world championship. That's the race to have and that's the trophy I definitely will cherish in the trophy case for many years."
Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Snap-on Tools/Wyotech Suzuki, 2005 U.S. Nationals Pro Stock Motorcycle winner: "The U.S. Nationals is four days of unbearable pressure and excitement that, if you're lucky, ends with a feeling of euphoria like nothing else. Or, it ends in the most crushing disappointment imaginable. There's no middle ground with Indy. The U.S. Nationals is like no other race. You can come away from some races with a semifinal round finish and think it was an OK weekend. Not at Indy. Nothing less than victory will suffice. This is the race where winning really is the only thing that counts. Winning the U.S. Nationals was the highlight of my career. Now, my only plan is to try and win the biggest race in the POWERade Series again."