‘The Sarge’ comes to Carson
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Soldiers and civilians line up to receive autographs and have their pictures made with Tony Schumacher, driver of the U. S. Army sponsored top-fuel dragster, July 21 at the Fort Carson Post Exchange.

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, brought his 500-cubic inch, 800-horsepower, nitro-methane-fueled, U.S. Army top-fuel dragster to the Fort Carson Post Exchange July 21.

The dragster, which pulls six G-force from the starting line, has captured six National Hot Rod Association titles with Schumacher behind the wheel, living up to the motto “Army Strong.”

“The strength my team gets from the Army is incredible … it’s another level of greatness. You’re only as good as the people you put yourself around, and we are around the greatest men and women in the world,” said Schumacher.

The Army team has amassed 67 victories and captured the U.S. National title in 2009 for the eighth time.

“It was very awesome meeting the winningest top-fuel dragster driver,” said Sergeant Trae Marks, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

“This is the winningest car and team in the world, and the Army has taught us a lot. When I’m in a five-layer fire suit and want to complain and I look out across the racetrack and see a Soldier in full body armor doing a demonstration, it’s easy to look at you guys and know you’ve sacrificed more without complaining and that’s what my team has found,” said Schumacher. “There’s not a place to complain, there is a place to figure it out when you’re getting beat -- figure out how to win, and you guys have taught us that.”

While at the meet and greet, Schumacher interacted with Soldiers and fans of all ages. Miniature dragster driver Lerae Jacobs, 16, from Peyton, received pointers from Schumacher on the proper technique for getting off the starting line.

“It was awesome to be able to come out here and see Tony, he is my role model,” said Jacobs.

Schumacher said he makes an appearance at every Army post at least once a year and an average of three meet and greets for every race, making the Army car a useful recruiting tool.

“This advertises for us really well … it gets the kids interested in the Army,” said Sgt. 1st Class William Hoover, accessions career counselor, 13th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division.

Page last updated Thu July 28th, 2011 at 00:00