Schumacher Beaten In Finals By DSR Teammate
U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a final round encounter to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey, here Sunday in the 32nd annual MOPAR Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Schumacher, who was looking for his first victory of the season, dropped a cylinder right at the hit of the throttle against Massey and the latter took advantage with a 4.150-second run at 269.67 mph versus Schumacher's 4.255-second jaunt at 266.95 mph.
"That's the way it goes," said Schumacher. "We ran so well right up to that point, but just when you least expect it the car decides to have a mind of its own. I'm confident we were just trying to duplicate our three previous runs."
In fact, Schumacher ran off three consistent laps (4.006-seconds/4.013-seconds/4.015- seconds) in the opening rounds to claim victories over Larry Dixon, Bob Vandergriff and Rod Fuller, respectively.
"I don't think the track changed very much between the semis and finals," said Schumacher, a seven-time world champion. "As always, we were just trying to take what the track was giving us. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for us."
It was the third time this year Schumacher had advanced to the finals, but came up empty-handed. He's now gone 13 straight races (counting the 2010 season finale) without a trip to victory lane.
"Count on it - we will get there," he said. "Our Army Strong Soldiers never give up and we won't either. Despite not winning here today, our performance was definitely a confidence booster. We can now go to Sonoma (Calif.) next weekend ready to rock."
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will travel to Infineon Raceway next weekend for the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals. It is the second of three consecutive races which comprise the infamous Western Swing.
Schumacher will head for "Wine Country" still holding fifth in the standings, but is only 23 points out of fourth and 40 points removed from third.
"We have four more races to go before they reset the points for the Countdown to 1," said Schumacher. "We are going to make a real push to be as high up in the standings as possible by the time the playoffs arrive. Then, it will be game time."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, also had a solid outing on the mountain outside of Denver. He advanced to the semifinals before losing to Massey.
"It was a good race day for us," said Brown, who retained fourth in the standings. "Overall, the car responded to what we wanted it to do this weekend and that's always a good sign going forward.
"We're optimistic we can go out to Sonoma next weekend and get the job done. Like Tony, we are trying to be as close to the top as we can be before the Countdown to 1 starts."
By: don schumacher racing