Schumacher Beaten in Semifinals, Sampey Out in Finals, Brown Fouls in Eliminations
July 16, 2007
MORRISON, Colo. (Army News Service, July 16, 2007) - U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle rider, Angelle Sampey, lost in the finals to Matt Smith here Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
In other action, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, lost in the semifinals, while U.S. Army Suzuki pilot, Antron Brown, fouled out in the second round of eliminations.
<b>Pro Stock Motorcycles</b>
Ms. Sampey, who came into the weekend holding second in the standings, rolled through the likes of Chris Rivas, Karen Stoffer and Matt Guidera before committing a red-light foul against Mr. Smith in the final round.
"I guess I pushed the (Christmas) tree yet again," said the three-time world champion who was -.047-seconds too early at the start. "I just couldn't cover a mile today. When you get to the finals, you always want to finish the job."
Ms. Sampey was seeking her second victory of the year and the 42nd of her career. She was also attempting to capture her second win in Denver, a place where she started her pro career in 1996.
"Bandimere Speedway is a special place for sure,'' she added. "Maybe, next year we can go one more round."
Mr. Brown, who started from the 14th spot, took care of third-place qualifier, Michael Phillips, in the opening round of eliminations before recording a red light foul in a second-round loss to Mr. Guidera.
The New Jersey native actually banked a better elapsed time than Mr. Guidera (7.484-seconds to 7.654-seconds), but he was -.001-seconds when he launched from the starting line and that was the race.
"It's extremely disappointing," said Mr. Brown about his early exit. "You can't keep beating yourself in this sport. We'll just have to keep our head up and look forward to the next race for the bikes out at Sonoma (Calif.) in two weeks."
Despite his second-round loss, Mr. Brown moved up a position in the standings to ninth. He's now just three points out of eighth place, which is the cut off for the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship.
"I guess that's the positive coming out of this weekend," he added. "We've got three (Pro Stock Motorcycle) races left to get into the playoffs."
After getting taken out in the first round last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, Mr. Schumacher came back strong with a semifinal round advancement at the 13th race of the year.
The Chicago native bolted past Clay Millican and J.R. Todd in the opening two rounds before dropping a close encounter to former Schumacher Racing teammate, Whit Bazemore, in the semis.
"It was a tight race with Whit," Mr. Schumacher said. "He just got me at the finish line (4.771-seconds to 4.806-seconds). Given all of the challenges that this track throws at you (hot temperatures and thin air due to the altitude), I thought we had a pretty good day."
Heading to next weekend's race in Seattle, Mr. Schumacher controls fifth place in the points, which is critical for entry into the Countdown to the Championship.
"Our mission is quite clear - like our Soldiers, failure is not an option or even a remote consideration," he added. "We're definitely taking aim at a fourth straight championship."