Las Vegas: Tony Schumacher preview

"The Sarge" looking to turn left in Las Vegas. LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 2 - Typically, when one has down time in the City of Las Vegas, there's a tendency to wander into one of the many elegant casinos which dot the landscape with dreams of...

"The Sarge" looking to turn left in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 2 - Typically, when one has down time in the City of Las Vegas, there's a tendency to wander into one of the many elegant casinos which dot the landscape with dreams of jackpots dancing in one's head.

For Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, down time prior to this weekend's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will mean one thing and one thing only - turning left in a 600-horsepower stock car.

The driver of the United States Army Top Fuel dragster is scheduled to participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience this Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For one morning, a normal quarter-mile pass in a 6,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster will translate into multiple mile-and-a-half laps complete with left-hand turns and a significant reduction in horsepower.

"No, this is not an April Fool's joke," said Schumacher with a chuckle. "I' ve been wanting to do something like this for quite some time. I want to see what it's like to drive a stock car. The speedway and the Richard Petty folks were nice enough to accommodate me prior to our race weekend."

The 1999 Top Fuel champ has, in fact, had some experience in other forms of racing besides drag racing. He's been through the Skip Barber Racing School, which caters to road course driving.

"I like all forms of racing," he added. "Of course, I drive a Top Fuel dragster for a living and that's where my priority lies. This just happens to be a deviation from what I normally do. I'm really looking forward to it."

If the experience is enjoyable, will he want to hit the ovals once again?

"We'll see about that," related Schumacher. "Let me get a taste before I contemplate taking a bite, if you know what I mean. I just want to have some fun with this."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Richard Petty , Skip Barber