Infinenon Raceway Sears Point
Schumacher Loses In Finals To U.S. Army Racing Teammate
For the second straight week, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost a close final round encounter here Sunday in the FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
After losing to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey, in Denver last weekend, Schumacher was beaten this time around by his Don Schumacher Racing/U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown.
Schumacher, who had qualified number one, recorded a 3.919-second trip at 311.41 miles per hour, but it was a little slower than Brown's 3.883-second pass at 314.61 mph.
"We just can't seem to close the deal," said Schumacher, who has come up empty-handed in four finals this year. "It's truly unbelievable - we are getting so close to getting that first win of the season. The good news is that I know we will get it before too long. The Army car is really performing the way we want it to."
Despite not claiming his 68th career victory, Schumacher managed to clinch a spot in the NHRA's Countdown to 1 following his opening round win over Steve Chrisman.
"I guess that sort of takes away the sting a bit," said the Chicago-area resident. "We were confident all along we would qualify for the playoffs, but it is nice to get the official confirmation."
Schumacher, fifth in the standings, will now head for Pacific Raceways outside of Seattle next weekend for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Northwest NHRA Nationals. It is the final leg of the NHRA's infamous Western Swing.
"We have won four times up there, so we'll be looking to get the job done for our Army Strong Soldiers," he offered. "Actually, I have had plenty of success at the next three tracks on the schedule (including Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway and Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis). We would love to get two or three wins over that stretch and then we can go into the playoffs on a roll."
Following his third win of the season, Brown moved into sole possession of third-place in the standings. Having also clinched a Countdown to 1 spot, he's now just a little more than two rounds of racing out of second.
"I can't tell you how pleased I am with the way my Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster is running," said the New Jersey native. "We seem to be peaking at the right time of the year given that the Countdown to 1 is near.
"We had a great battle with Tony in the finals here in Sonoma and I'm confident we will meet up again in the coming races. Both teams are definitely championship contenders."
By: don schumacher racing