SCHUMACHER LOOKING TO TURN THE PAGE MEMPHIS, Tenn., September 23 - When U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher glanced at the sports section of his local newspaper on Monday, he could not help but crack a smile at what he ...
SCHUMACHER LOOKING TO TURN THE PAGE
MEMPHIS, Tenn., September 23 - When U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher glanced at the sports section of his local newspaper on Monday, he could not help but crack a smile at what he saw.
"Low and behold, there's a big story on the front page about the New England Patriots having their 21-game regular season winning streak snapped by the Miami Dolphins," he offered. "Needless to say, I could immediately relate to how that team must be feeling."
Of course, it's been said time heals all wounds and Schumacher has already moved well beyond the disappointment of seeing his seven-race winning streak leveled by J.R. Todd at the Texas Motorplex last weekend.
"In a bizarre way, us losing in the finals last Sunday was sort of a relief," he said. "For the last couple of months, all we've heard about are the records that we've set and the winning streak. I think the pressure is off of us. We can now intently focus on the real prize, which is earning another POWERade trophy."
Lest anyone think winning a fifth consecutive world title was just a blip on Schumacher's radar screen. In fact, as he heads for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at
Memphis Motorsports Park this weekend, he continues to lead the standings, which is a spot he's been in since the season opener in February.
Schumacher holds a 97-point advantage over Antron Brown, while Cory McClenathan is 104 points behind in third and Larry Dixon 129 points back in fourth.
"Let me be clear - winning the championship has always been the priority for this team," he added. "The fact that we set some records along the way and had the streak is secondary in my book. We're all about winning titles for our hard-working Soldiers." Four races remain in the NHRA's Countdown to One and Schumacher is hoping he can stay consistent the rest of the way.
"That's the key," he said. "Certainly, we want to win them all, but we really need to keep taking rounds away from those guys every race. There are only 16 rounds of racing left, so you want to pocket as many of them as you can."
Of the four tracks remaining on the schedule, Schumacher has failed to win at only one of them - Virginia Motorsports Park outside of Richmond.
"I know it's an overused expression, but we truly are going to take it a race at a time," he related. "At the moment, we're only concerned with the race this weekend in Memphis."