Las Vegas: "The Sarge" upset in first round of eliminations

Las Vegas, Nev. (April 8): Despite high hopes of his first victory of the 2001 NHRA season, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the opening round of the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Schumacher, the No. 6 qualifier,...

Las Vegas, Nev. (April 8): Despite high hopes of his first victory of the 2001 NHRA season, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the opening round of the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Schumacher, the No. 6 qualifier, faced Rhonda Hartman-Smith who qualified No. 11 in the opening round of Final Eliminations. Schumacher's day was over quickly as he ran a 4.816 e.t. at 301.07 mph to Hartman's 4.767. Schumacher was ahead early and hazed his tires at about 1000 feet allowing Hartman to pass him for the victory.

"We thought we had a good chance to go rounds today," said a dejected Schumacher. "It's tough when you an early pair and don't have a chance to see many cars go down your lane. We were really surprised that we hazed the tires that far down track."

Schumacher, who has lost in the opening round of the last two races, drops to No. 9 in NHRA championship points, 174 points out of first. Next stop for "The Sarge" is the New York Auto Show for a show car and autograph session, then on to Gainesville, Florida for the resumption of the Mac Tools Gatornationals.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rhonda Hartman-Smith