SCHUMACHER PREPARED FOR ANOTHER TITLE DEFENSE POMONA, Calif., February 9 - For U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, it's quite apparent the more things change the more they stay the same. With a new NHRA Full Throttle Drag...
SCHUMACHER PREPARED FOR ANOTHER TITLE DEFENSE
POMONA, Calif., February 9 - For U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, it's quite apparent the more things change the more they stay the same. With a new NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season set to begin this weekend here at Auto Club Raceway, Schumacher will once again be the proverbial marked man.
"Obviously, I've been in that position before," said the defending world champion as he prepped for the 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals. "But, I'm fine with it. My U.S. Army team is ready for the battle ahead."
Last year, Schumacher captured his sixth straight crown and seventh overall following a tense season-long fight with his former crew chief (Alan Johnson) and U.S. Army crew. "Given that everyone expected us to fade away last year after all of the changes, it was very gratifying to go out and claim another championship," said the Chicago-area resident. "Of course, this year we're not going to sneak up on anyone. Everyone now knows what we're capable of."
Schumacher, who won five races last season, is intent on kicking off the 2010 campaign on a positive note.
"You always want to win the season opener," he added. "It can set the tone going forward. For sure, we want to win every race for our Army Strong Soldiers. They all sacrifice so much to keep us free."
After a productive pre-season test session down in Florida a few weeks ago, Schumacher is optimistic about the Pomona race and beyond.
"We did pretty well down there with the new Don Schumacher Racing chassis," he offered. "Hopefully, we can carry that performance over to this weekend.
"Listen, we know the competition is going to be tough all year long. We're going to have to work extremely hard every weekend to have success. With that said I have all the confidence in the world in Mike Green (his crew chief) and my guys. They proved they can dig down deep when it counts the most."