SCHUMACHER EYES RETURN TO WINNING WAYS SONOMA, Calif., July 13, 2010 - After absorbing a second round loss in Seattle last Sunday, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will be seeking a trip to victory lane here this weekend in...
SCHUMACHER EYES RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
SONOMA, Calif., July 13, 2010 - After absorbing a second round loss in Seattle last Sunday, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will be seeking a trip to victory lane here this weekend in the FRAM-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
Schumacher, who is the defending Top Fuel world champion, lost to his U.S. Army Racing/Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. In the process, he dropped from second to third in the standings.
"That loss hurt in a couple of ways," said the Chicago-area resident. "First of all, we really felt like we had a good shot at winning the race -- we had a good car all weekend long leading up to that round against Antron. And, of course, going out as early as we did was not very beneficial as far as the standings go."
Heading to Wine Country, Schumacher knows his team can overcome adversity and get back to form in short order.
"You can count on that," he said. "We are definitely like our Army Strong Soldiers in that regard. We'll never let anything get us down. We're going to keep fighting every step of the way."
The good news for Schumacher is that he is going to a track where he has had a fair amount of success. He has won twice in the last three seasons at Infineon Raceway.
"I'm certainly happy about that," he said. "We clearly know what it takes to win at Infineon. We're going to go in there this weekend with a 'take no prisoners' mentality." Having closely examined the upcoming schedule, Schumacher is fully aware it is getting down to crunch time as related to the upcoming Countdown to 1.
"The playoffs are coming fast (they begin at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals during Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis)," he offered. "We need to string together some good performances over these next three races so we can fully prepare. We need to be on a roll by the time we get to Indy."
While he is not totally giving up on grabbing first-place away from Larry Dixon prior to the start of the Countdown to 1, Schumacher wants to make sure he at least moves back into second given the re-setting of the points before the final six races. He trails Cory McClenathan by nine points.
"We want to be less than two rounds of racing behind versus a full two rounds behind," he said. "Mentally, that would mean a lot."
The Sonoma race is the second of three straight which comprises the NHRA's annual Western Swing. Next weekend, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series travels to Bandimere Speedway outside of Denver for the MOPAR Mile-High Nationals.