By Army News ServiceOctober 17, 2006
DINWIDDIE, Va. (Army News Service, Oct. 16, 2006) - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, lost in the first round of eliminations of the rain-delayed Torco Racing Fuels Nationals here Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park.
After posting a single season record 12th pole on Saturday, Schumacher was not able to advance past 16th-place qualifier, David Baca, in the opening round, and as a result took a hit in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world title chase.
"I guess we just overpowered the race track," said a visibly dejected Schumacher in describing his tire-smoking run against Baca. "He did what he had to do and got down the track clean. We ended making a crucial mistake and he was able to capitalize. That's what separates the winners and losers at times in this sport."
Schumacher, who had not recorded a first-round loss since the Chicago race in June, will now head for the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, October 26-29, sitting in third-place in the Top Fuel standings. He's the defending ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals event champ.
"We're not quitting by any means," added the Chicago native. "We're going to go out and try to win these last two races. And, you never know what can happen in terms of the world championship. If we take care of our own business and get a little help along the way we just might end up at the top."
In Las Vegas, Schumacher will also be participating in the Budweiser Shootout, which is a special race-within-a-race that showcases eight of the best-performing Top Fuel teams on the NHRA tour. The winner receives $100,000.
Schumacher, who will be the number one seed, is the defending champion of the Budweiser Shootout.
Joining Schumacher at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in two weeks will be his U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle teammates, Antron Brown and Angelle Sampey.
Brown currently leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle points over Andrew Hines and Sampey, respectively, with two events to go in the 2006 season.