Schumacher Seeks First Win of 2007; Sampey, Brown Ready for Motorcycle Opener
March 14, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Army News Service, March 14, 2007) - Army NHRA pilots Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown will take to historic Gainesville Raceway this weekend for the 38th annual ACDelco Gatornationals.
Schumacher, who pilots the Army Top Fuel dragster, will be looking to pocket his first victory of the still young 2007 season as Sampey and Brown, aboard their Army Suzukis, will attempt to kick off the Pro Stock Motorcycle campaign in solid fashion.
After failing to get to victory lane at the first two races, Schumacher would love to break through at the NHRA's traditional East Coast opener.
"We've been running well, but we just haven't been able to get over the hump," said the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world champion. "It's been a long couple of weeks off, so we're ready to get back after it."
Schumacher, who has a Gatornationals title to his credit from 2004, knows how much of a challenge Gainesville Raceway can be.
"It's a nice track, but it can be a bear to get down if the weather is hot," he said. "We'll likely face far different conditions than we had at both Pomona and Phoenix."
Gainesville Raceway has a rich tradition of history-making performances including the first 300 mph Top Fuel pass recorded in 1992. Schumacher holds the track record for speed at 333.95 mph set two years ago.
"The concrete launch pad down there at 675 feet is one of the longest on the tour,
so that certainly helps out a lot," offered the Chicago-area resident.
<b>Pro Stock Motorcycles</b>
Both Sampey and Brown are eager to set sail on a new season, which now totals 16 races for the two-wheelers.
Brown wants to erase the disappointment of 2006 when he came up just 23 points short of claiming his first world championship.
"It's a brand new year and I can't wait to get going," said the New Jersey native. "Last year was last year-you really can't dwell on the past."
Sampey, who captured the first two Pro Stock Motorcycle races last year, would like to duplicate that effort this time around.
"Getting off to a good start to the season and then maintaining that momentum will be important not only for me, but Antron as well," she said. "We finished second and third last year in the standings and it's time for each of us to move up a couple of rungs on the ladder."
While Brown is shooting for his first crown, Sampey is focused on nailing her fourth world championship ring. With six more wins, she will move past the late Dave Schultz on the all-time Pro Stock Motorcycle victory list.
"You can't imagine how much I want that first title," added Brown. "Like our Soldiers, I'll never quit."
"I'll take the ring before the record," said Sampey. "Team achievements always come first. If I'm also fortunate to become the rider with the most wins, well, then that will be great as well."