SCHUMACHER EAGER TO CELEBRATE U.S. ARMY'S DRAG-RACING DECADE IN BIG WAY INDIANAPOLIS, August 31, 2010 - Even though Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals a remarkable eight times, the driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel...
SCHUMACHER EAGER TO CELEBRATE U.S. ARMY'S DRAG-RACING DECADE IN BIG WAY
INDIANAPOLIS, August 31, 2010 - Even though Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals a remarkable eight times, the driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster would like to be somewhat greedy and win this weekend's version of the NHRA's most prestigious race at O'Reilly Raceway Park for a number of reasons.
Given that the 2010 U.S. Nationals marks the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. Army and Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) joining together as marketing partners, it clearly would be a special moment for Schumacher if he could find victory lane yet again.
"That would be something to remember for a long time," said the Chicago-area resident. "We're going to have a lot of VIPs in attendance, so we definitely want to do well. Of course, it's always been about winning trophies for our Army Strong Soldiers. Our mission has not changed from day one."
Joining Schumacher for the anniversary celebration will be Antron Brown and Angelle Sampey, who totaled 16 wins while piloting U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcyle Suzukis. Brown presently drives the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster for DSR.
"Needless to say, I see Antron all of the time, but it will be nice to spend time with Angelle once again," said Schumacher. "She was a great teammate and she obviously meant so much to the sport of drag racing. It was a sad day when she announced her retirement."
While Schumacher knows it will be an exciting weekend with all of the anniversary- related events, he's also aware there's business to attend to in the form of the Countdown to 1.
The seven-time world champion enters the six-race playoff phase of the season holding third-place in the standings, 40 points removed from Larry Dixon in first.
"It's time to step up to the plate," he said. "Interestingly enough, we were in this same position last year and had also won four races. Hopefully, the ending will be the same as well." In 2009, Schumacher edged out Dixon by just two points on the way to his sixth consecutive title.
"Let me make this very clear - this is not all about me and Dixon," offered Schumacher. "In fact, my teammate, Cory McClenathan, sits in second between us in the standings. He's been running real strong of late and should be a major factor throughout the playoffs. And, you can add in a bunch of other drivers who can get hot and win the championship.
"The next six races will be an intense battle. There's going to be pressure every round, but I know my team can and will deal with it. They know what it takes to win world championships."
Almost lost in the upcoming weekend will be Schumacher's attempt to set the record for most U.S. Nationals Top Fuel wins. Should be grab his ninth victory, he will go around "Big Daddy" Don Garlits on the list.
"There's no question it would be a major accomplishment," he said. "But, I'm more concerned with starting the playoffs off on the right foot. We want to rise up and take over the top spot."