SCHUMACHER READY TO GET BACK ON TRACK
LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 29, 2011 - If someone would have told U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher two weeks ago he would be traveling right from Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the next NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, there wouldn't have been an argument or discussion.
"I truly wish that would have been the case," said the seven-time world champion. "I had just lost a close final round race to Del Worsham, so I know my U.S. Army team was prepared to get right back into the thick of the action."
Instead, Schumacher and his team had to pack up and head home while impatiently waiting for this weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip.
"It's tough when you have a couple of races bunched up at the beginning and then you have this sudden break in the schedule," said Schumacher. "But, we all had to deal with it and now it's time to take it to the track once again.
"We want to go out to Las Vegas and collect another trophy for our Army Strong Soldiers. We take great pride in representing the more than one million Soldiers who protect our freedom and our way of life."
To be sure, Schumacher is eager to attack the competition. Holding second-place in the standings after his runner-up finish at the Gatornationals, he is heading for a venue where a great amount of success has come his way.
Schumacher leads all Top Fuel drivers with six victories at The Strip. Two of them came in the spring race - 2004 and 2009.
"I think all of the drivers love racing out there," he said. "It's a state-of-the-art facility which has a terrific racing surface. If the conditions are right, you can really produce some power."
At The Strip last fall, Schumacher set what was then the national record for speed at 325.61 mph. He reset the record at 327.03 mph in the 2011 season opener last month.
"We built a good amount of momentum coming out of Gainesville," he offered. "We're looking to continue that forward movement in Las Vegas. I think it's pretty clear to everyone the Army team is going to be a serious player when it comes to the world championship.
"Given he's the defending champ, we're all chasing Larry Dixon. Like I've been telling people, he's the one with the target on his back now. Of course, I'd be a happy camper if that target was on my back going into next season."