Coming off four clean qualifying passes, Tony Schumacher felt positive results were forthcoming for the U.S. Army Top Fuel team on Sunday. However, it was not to be.

Bob Vandergriff, Jr. took out the defending NHRA POWERade world champion in the opening round with a 4.561-second pass to Schumacher's 4.694-second jaunt.

"As soon as I hit the throttle, I dropped a cylinder and the car made a big move to the centerline," said Schumacher about his run against Vandergriff, Jr. "I tried to get the car back in the groove, but the tires started spinning and he was gone. There was nothing more that I could have done."

It was the third straight first round loss for Schumacher and the fourth in six races. He'll now look to rebound next weekend when he joins Sampey and Brown, fellow NHRA drivers, in St. Louis.

"Everyone knows that we're not quitters," added the Chicago native, who will keep fourth in the standings. "Our soldiers set the standard that we follow."