SCHUMACHER STRUGGLING TO MOVE FORWARD NORWALK, Ohio, June 24 - Like the rest of the NHRA family, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, is having a hard time focusing on this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals here at...
SCHUMACHER STRUGGLING TO MOVE FORWARD
NORWALK, Ohio, June 24 - Like the rest of the NHRA family, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, is having a hard time focusing on this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment Nationals here at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
The defending NHRA POWERade world champion continues to be filled with emotion following the death of Funny Car driver, Scott Kalitta, last Saturday at Old Bridge Township (N.J.) Raceway Park.
"I still can't believe Scott's no longer with us," said Schumacher. "We all miss him dearly and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire Kalitta Motorsports team."
After capturing his first career victory at Raceway Park on Sunday, Schumacher made sure that his trophy quickly got into the hands of the Kalitta team in honor of their fallen driver.
"That's where it belonged, plain and simple," he offered. "Scott meant so much, to so many people. We had some great battles on the track when he was running Top Fuel. In fact, I got my first win back in 1999 over Scott down at the Texas Motorplex. I always respected the intensity that he brought to the track."
Schumacher is fully aware that life must move on, to include the upcoming race weekend in the Buckeye State.
"That's what Scott would want us to do I can guarantee you," said the Chicago- area resident. "He wouldn't want us to dwell on his passing. He will definitely be with us in spirit from this point forward. And, we will never, ever forget him." Schumacher, who is the defending Summit Racing Equipment Nationals champ, currently holds a 244-point lead over Antron Brown in the Top Fuel standings. This weekend's event marks the halfway point on the 24-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule.
"It's rewarding for us to be sitting on top of the mountain, but we'd much rather end up there come November at the end of the season," said Schumacher. "To be perfectly honest, given Scott's death a few days ago, points and wins are not on my radar screen right now. We need to keep everything in perspective. Come Friday, we can get back to the business at hand. But, at the moment, we need to support the Kalitta family during this tough period."