Las Vegas II: Tony Schumacher final report

SCHUMACHER LOSES TIGHT RACE IN QUARTERFINALS LAS VEGAS, Nev., November 1 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, lost a close quarterfinal round race to teammate Cory McClenathan here Sunday in the Las Vegas ...

SCHUMACHER LOSES TIGHT RACE IN QUARTERFINALS

LAS VEGAS, Nev., November 1 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, aboard his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, lost a close quarterfinal round race to teammate Cory McClenathan here Sunday in the Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Schumacher laid down a more than respectable 3.868-second 1,000-foot trip at 318.84 mph, but McClenathan was just a bit better with his 3.860-second pass at 316.67 mph.

"Man, that was a tough way to go out," said the defending world champion. "You have to tip your hat to Cory and his team. They did what they had to do." Even before he watched McClenathan cross the finish line, Schumacher had to deal with an uncharacteristic slow move off the starting line.

"I'm actually pretty upset with myself," he added. "I probably did too much thinking out there. That's not how you should perform when you're going for a championship."

Following his second round departure, Schumacher's lead in the Top Fuel standings suddenly came under serious attack by both Larry Dixon and McClenathan.

"We just have to deal with it," said the Chicago-area resident. "We'll have another opportunity in a couple of weeks to take care of business. Again, we're not going to rest until we're handing over another trophy to our Army Strong Soldiers."

The 2009 season finale for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series - the Auto Club Finals - will take place November 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

"We've had some big moments out there in recent years," said Schumacher. "We'll be looking to add another chapter to that book in two weeks."

Prior to his loss to McClenathan at The Strip, Schumacher recorded his 500th career round victory after a first round win over Urs Erbacher. He became only the eighth professional driver in NHRA history to accomplish the feat.

"That's a nice statistic, but I have other things on my mind right now," he said. "I'm looking forward to the upcoming Pomona trip. We want to go there and finish the job that we set out to do back in February."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Urs Erbacher