CHANDLER, Ariz. (Army News Service, Feb. 25, 2007) - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, lost in the semifinals of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals here Sunday at Firebird International Raceway.

In round three, Schumacher had about a car-length lead on Melanie Troxel at half track before his U.S. Army dragster dropped a couple of cylinders, allowing Troxel to drive on by to the finish line.

"We were running so well to that point," said a disappointed Schumacher afterwards. "I guess the track changed a bit from the second round to the semis and that may have played into things.

"Even though we didn't get the win today, the good news is that we managed to
go some rounds and we can definitely leave here with a positive feeling."

The Chicago native, who had qualified number one with a track record 4.430-second pass, posted runs of 4.498-seconds and 4.461-seconds to dispose of Doug Herbert and Cory McClenathan, respectively, in the opening two rounds.

"Like I said, we were chugging along until the semis," he added. "Unfortunately, not everything goes the way you plan it. We're a team full of warriors, so we'll just get back after it in a couple of weeks down in Gainesville (Fla.)."

Schumacher, who moved up three spots in the standings to sixth-place, will stay over an extra day at Firebird to test in preparation for the famed ACDelco Gatornationals, March 15-18, at Gainesville Raceway.

"You always want to see improvement with each race and we've clearly done that since the season opener," said the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world champion. "At the Gatornationals, we'll be looking to go those last couple of steps."

Page last updated Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 12:57