Don Schumacher Racing press release
SCHUMACHER OVERFLOWING WITH INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION AS HE PREPARES FOR THE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 12, 2011 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has never lacked for inspiration or motivation during his racing career, but given his recent experience in Washington, D.C., the seven -time world champion will definitely be bringing an abundance of both when he arrives at zMAX Dragway here this weekend for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.
Last Thursday, Schumacher joined his U.S. Army NASCAR Racing teammate Ryan Newman for visits to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.
"It was extremely touching to be at both of those places," said Schumacher. "It's actually very difficult to describe in words what I was feeling when we were at those sites. I can clearly say it was a very emotional day and one that I will never forget."
At the opening race of the NHRA's six-race Countdown to the Championship, Schumacher will be eager to properly honor the unaccounted for American Soldiers lost in combat and those lost in the 9/11 Pentagon attack.
"We want to win for all of those great Americans," he said. "Like we did in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago, we are going to roll out the same special 9/11-paint scheme in Charlotte which lists the 75 U.S. Army personnel killed at the Pentagon on that horrible day.
"We are certainly overdue to get our first victory of the season. Hopefully, we'll get it this weekend for all of those brave men and women who sacrificed so much for us."
Schumacher will get an extra dose of mental stimulation on Wednesday when he travels to Fort Bragg, N.C. to visit the Soldiers, while trying his hand at the famed Jump Tower.
"I enjoy every opportunity to mix with our Army Strong Soldiers," said Schumacher. "It's times like these that I feel both fortunate and proud to be the Army's representative on the NHRA circuit."
After suffering through a tough Mac Tools U.S. Nationals during Labor Day weekend, Schumacher is ready to start the playoffs in a big way. Holding fifth-place in the standings, he is 60 points behind leader, Del Worsham.
"We need to get off on the right foot," he said. "I'm sure losing in the first round up in Indy was an eye-opener for everyone. But, that's history and we have to move forward. This is when the real season begins. It is time to put up or shut up.
"We know what we have to do to be world champions again. We are going to attack starting with the first qualifying session and proceed onward from there. There's no room for error anymore. It's understood the pressure is going to ramp up considerably beginning in Charlotte. I can take solace in the fact I know my team is best under pressure and will get the job done."