By U.S. Army RacingApril 16, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Army News Service, April, 16, 2007) - For the second straight race, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the first round of eliminations here Sunday in the SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mr. Schumacher, who had qualified number one, smoked the tires in his match-up with 16th-place qualifier J.R. Todd, and as a result was sent home early.
"It's disappointing," offered the defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world champion. "We just couldn't seem to get going from the time we unloaded here in Vegas. I feel real bad for our Soldiers. We want to win every time out for them."
In fact, Mr. Schumacher's only full pass down the quarter-mile throughout the weekend was his pole-clinching 4.479-second pass on Friday night. His other qualifying runs resulted in tire-smoking efforts.
"When you go into race day with only one clean run under your belt that makes the task that much harder," he added. "Perhaps, we're fighting a gremlin or something, I'm not sure. But, you can be certain that Alan Johnson (his crew chief) will figure it out and we'll be set for the next race."
The Chicago native has experienced a season of highs and lows to date in 2007. A win, a semifinal round advancement and three first-round losses now dot the resume.
"It appears like we're following about the same script as we did in 2006 when we started slow and picked up steam later on," he said. "We'll get it together. We just have to make sure that we're in the top eight in the (Countdown to the Championship) standings by the time we get to the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and then we can all start counting points for real."
The next stop for Mr. Schumacher on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour will be Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., April 26-29, for the famed Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.
Joining Mr. Schumacher at Atlanta Dragway will be his U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle teammates, Ms. Angelle Sampey and Mr. Antron Brown. Mr. Sampey is the current Pro Stock Motorcycle point leader.