By U.S. Army RacingJuly 30, 2007
SONOMA, Calif. (Army News Service, July 30, 2007) - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher won his second straight race and his fourth of the season here yesterday in the FRAM-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.
In Pro Stock Motorcycles, U.S. Army Suzuki riders Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown were ousted in the opening round of eliminations.
After capturing the race in Seattle last weekend, Mr. Schumacher held serve in Sonoma by beating Bob Vandergriff, Jr. in the finals with a 4.534-second pass at 329.42 mph.
Before he knocked out Mr. Vandergriff, Jr., Mr. Schumacher eliminated Cory McClenathan, Hillary Will and Doug Herbert in the opening three rounds.
"This U.S. Army team seems to be getting on a roll at the right time of the year," said the Chicago native. "I'm happy we could deliver yet another victory to our Soldiers. They're always behind us and we appreciate everything that they do for us."
It was Mr. Schumacher's first career win at Infineon Raceway after coming up empty in three previous final rounds.
"It's nice to cross another track off the list where we've never won," he added. "Now, we're going to some tracks where we've had some decent success."
With his 39th career win, Mr. Schumacher moved into second place in the standings. He's also clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.
"We're definitely ready to challenge for our fourth consecutive title," he said.
Pro Stock Motorcycles
Angelle Sampey, who came into race day as the number one qualifier, was disqualified in her confrontation with 16th-place qualifier Shawn Gann, after she crossed the center line just after launching from the start.
"I'm crushed," said the three-time world champion. "I couldn't believe what happened. I let the clutch out and the bike just bolted to the center. I tried to save it, but it was too late. It's all so disappointing since I truly believe that we had the bike to beat today."
All was not lost for the Louisiana native following the loss. She still managed to clinch a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.
"Well, that certainly lifts my spirits a bit," Ms. Sampey added. "In the end, you want to be competing for world championships and now we'll definitely have that opportunity. But, I like to win races as well and I feel we missed out on one here in Sonoma."
Given his stellar .007-second reaction time, Antron Brown did what he could at the starting line in his match up with Eddie Krawiec, but Mr. Krawiec ran him down by half track and never looked back.
"We gave it our best shot," said Mr. Brown. "I thought, perhaps, this might be our turn- around weekend, but it wasn't to be. We've got some work to do in the next week to get ready for the last couple of races before the cut off for the countdown."
Mr. Brown will leave northern California a little less than two rounds of racing behind eighth-place in the standings, which is the last position to qualify for the playoffs.
"We're still in the hunt and that's what matters," he said. "We've got to seize the moment when we get back after it in a couple of weeks."
Mr. Schumacher, Ms. Sampey and Mr. Brown will have a weekend off before traveling to Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota for the Lucas Oil Nations August 10-12.