Topeka: Tony Schumacher final report

SCHUMACHER TAKEN OUT IN QUARTERFINALS TOPEKA, Kan., May 31 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a quarterfinal round race to Spencer Massey here Sunday in the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park ...

SCHUMACHER TAKEN OUT IN QUARTERFINALS

TOPEKA, Kan., May 31 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a quarterfinal round race to Spencer Massey here Sunday in the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

Battling a hot track surface for the second straight day, Schumacher posted a respectable 4.025-second run at 295.53 mph, but Massey was a bit better with his 4.007- second trip at 291.19 mph.

"It was a great drag race," said Schumacher. "The track temperature when we started the round was 121 degrees, so we really had to watch that we didn't overpower the track. You have to tip your hat to Spencer and his team - they did what they had to do today."

Despite his early departure, Schumacher will retain his Top Fuel points lead as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads for Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. next weekend.

"We didn't get the victory but we certainly did our best this weekend," added the six-time world champion. "It's nice that we were able to hold on to first-place in the standings.

"Like our Soldiers, my U.S. Army team will never quit. We'll pack it up here in Topeka and then focus on returning to victory lane next Sunday."

While not collecting his first career win at Heartland Park Topeka, Schumacher is traveling to a track where he's had a decent amount of success over the years. He has three career wins to his credit at Route 66 Raceway, which is a short drive from his Chicago-area residence.

"I'm looking forward to playing a home game," he said. "I'll definitely enjoy having my family and friends at the race. Hopefully, we'll put on a good show for them."

Almost lost in Sunday's proceedings was the fact Schumacher set another record.

After beating Chris Karamesines in the opening round of eliminations, the 39-year-old made it 35 consecutive races without a first round loss. John Force had held the record for both nitro classes (Top Fuel & Funny Car) at 34.

"I really wasn't aware that mark was out there to get," said Schumacher. "To be honest, we're all about winning races and championships."

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Tony Schumacher , Chris Karamesines , Spencer Massey