Tony Schumacher Rolls to Sixth Indianapolis Win
September 4, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Army News Service, Sept. 4, 2007) - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher marched to his sixth career Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win here Monday at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
The Chicago native is now just two wins shy of "Big Daddy" Don Garlits on the all-time Top Fuel U.S. Nationals victory list.
Army Pro Stock Motorcycle pilots Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown lost in the first round and second round, respectively.
With a 4.575-second pass at 331.94 mph, Mr. Schumacher beat Larry Dixon in the finals, claiming his fifth victory of the season.
"This is just incredible," he said. "We just seem to have some sort of stranglehold on this race. I really can't explain it. But, I'm definitely going to ride this wave as long as I can."
Mr. Schumacher had to maneuver past a group of talented drivers before his meeting with Dixon. He initially took out Clay Millican and Cory McClenathan in the opening two rounds, then disposed of his ex-Schumacher Racing teammate, Melanie Troxel, in the semifinals.
"None of those races were easy, believe me," he added. "And, of course, Dixon is always a tough customer. He beat me here two years ago in the finals.
"As usual, I'm ecstatic that we could deliver another win to our Soldiers. The trophy we won today is symbolic of great teamwork and that's what the U.S. Army is all about."
With his 40th career win, Mr. Schumacher moved into first-place in the Top Fuel standings. Three races remain before the NHRA's Countdown to One, which allows the top four in the standings to compete for the world championship.
"I want to stay in first right up to the beginning of the Countdown to One," he said. "I want to be the one being chased."
<b>Pro Stock Motorcycles</b>
After posting her worst qualifying performance of the season, Ms. Sampey could not slide by Chris Rivas in the first round of eliminations.
"As soon as I let the clutch out, my U.S. Army Suzuki immediately made a move to the right and that was it for me," she said. "I tried to bring it back into the groove, but I wasn't successful. It's really disappointing to start off the Countdown like this."
Ms. Sampey's early departure dropped her from second in the points to fifth, which is just outside the cut off for the Countdown to Four.
"We've got three races left to get our act together," said the Louisiana resident. "We're only 14 points out of fourth, so fortunately that's not a big deficit."
Mr. Brown cut down Peggy Llewellyn in the first round, but he couldn't get by pole sitter, Chip Ellis, in the quarterfinals.
"I cut a good light against Chip (.002-seconds), but he had a little too much for me from half-track on," he said. "Despite the loss, I'm still encouraged by how my Suzuki did this weekend. We made some solid runs and I'm hopeful that we can continue on like that in a couple of weeks."
Mr. Schumacher, Ms. Sampey and Mr. Brown will have a weekend off before heading to Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, September 14-16, for the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals.