U.S. ARMY TOP FUEL TEAM COMPLETES PRE-SEASON TESTING INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., January 19 - The U.S. Army Top Fuel team conducted a four-day test session at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway last week in preparation for the upcoming 2010 NHRA...
U.S. ARMY TOP FUEL TEAM COMPLETES PRE-SEASON TESTING
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., January 19 - The U.S. Army Top Fuel team conducted a four-day test session at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway last week in preparation for the upcoming 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
After capturing the 2009 world championship in dramatic fashion, the U.S. Army team, led by crew chief Mike Green and driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, approached pre-season testing looking to successfully move through a full agenda of on track activities.
"I believe we accomplished what we wanted to do," said Green. "We went down there to try and be the quickest and we did just that. We tested some new stuff with the hope it would give us a performance advantage beyond what we had last year."
From a performance standpoint, Schumacher laid down a couple of eye-opening passes on day three - 3.759-seconds at 318.77 mph and 3.753-seconds at 322.88 mph.
"We used the new chassis built at our shop," said Schumacher, a seven-time world champ. "The new car was just brilliant. The guys did a hell of a job building it. It is the best craftsmanship I've ever seen in a race car."
For Green, who last year pocketed his first world title as a crew chief, the second round of pre-season testing with the U.S. Army team was far different than the initial trip.
"No doubt about that," he added. "We had much more of a comfort zone this time around. You can't forget that last year everything was new so there was some adjustment on everyone's part."
Schumacher, who is a Chicago-area resident, agreed the atmosphere was much more relaxed than when the team assembled in Florida the early part of '09.
"Definitely," he said. "I didn't have to introduce myself to anyone this time around. We just picked up right where we left off in Pomona (Calif.) last November."
Both Green and Schumacher fully understand the U.S. Army team will enter the 2010 season wearing a huge target. Hence, staying ahead of the competition in all phases will be critical.
"You have to always try and improve in every area," offered Green. "You clearly can't rest on your laurels in this sport or else you'll be left behind. We're optimistic about the season ahead and can't wait to get started next month."
"The goal in 2010 is the same as previous years - we want to win another trophy for our Army Strong Soldiers," said Schumacher. "They're all working extremely hard for us every day so we're going to work extremely hard for them."