SCHUMACHER PREPARED FOR BATTLE AHEAD
INDIANAPOLIS, February 8, 2011 - After wrapping up five days of pre-season testing at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway last weekend, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was quick and to the point when asked about the fast-approaching 2011 season opener.
"We're ready to go," said the seven-time world champion. "We had a terrific week of testing in Florida and we can't wait to get to Pomona (Calif.).
When the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks off, February 24-27, at Auto Club Raceway, Schumacher will be looking to make a statement right out of the box. After finishing second in the points last year (he had previously captured six straight titles), he's hungry for another year-end trophy.
"You can bet on that," offered the Chicago-area resident. "The whole team wants to return to the top of the pack. We want to get the number one put back on the rear wing. Of course, we always want to win for our Army Strong Soldiers. Just like them, we rely on discipline, teamwork and a never-quit attitude to succeed."
Schumacher's optimism is fueled by some impressive numbers posted during the Florida test session. The U.S. Army team made 14 total runs and was in the 3.76-second range half the time.
"I certainly was happy with the way the car performed down there," said Schumacher. "We were quick and fast the majority of the time, which was fantastic."
Schumacher's crew chief, Mike Green, agreed with that assessment. "We had a very productive test," related Green. "We accomplished all that we set out to do and made some very good runs. We tested a new rear wing, our new windshield (as part of the roll cage configuration), our new DSR injector, some valve springs and about 12 other things. We definitely had a more aggressive attitude this winter.
"I also want to make it very clear that we're determined to return Tony and the U.S. Army dragster back to where they belong - as Top Fuel world champion." Both Green and Schumacher know there will be a number of teams slugging it out for the crown over the next 10 months.
"We should have the most competitive season in a long time," said Green. "I'm really looking forward to getting started."
"The Top Fuel class is just unbelievable right now," added Schumacher. "It's safe to say, the fans are going to get a great show all year long. And, you can count on the U.S. Army team playing a prominent role in that show. We're going to be right there in the middle of the action."