By U.S. Army RacingAugust 20, 2007
READING, Pa. (Army News Service, August 20) - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, dropped a first round encounter to Doug Foley here Sunday in the Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
While Mr. Schumacher was able to take to the track for final eliminations, his U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle teammates, Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown, were not as fortunate due to a steady rain that moved over the Keystone State.
As a result, Ms. Sampey and Mr. Brown will have to wait until 10 a.m. today for their opening round match ups with Shawn Gann and Steve Johnson, respectively.
After qualifying second, Mr. Schumacher failed to get by Mr. Foley, who had qualified 15th. It was his second straight first-round loss.
Mr. Foley laid down a 4.554-second pass at 323.50 mph to Mr. Schumacher's 4.556-second run at 325.37 mph to take the win, but the real story played out at the starting line.
Mr. Schumacher's reaction time of .151-seconds was significantly slower than Mr. Foley's .087-seconds, which did not help the defending world champion's cause.
"I actually almost red lit," he offered. "I deep staged the car, which I don't normally do, and I had to slightly come off the throttle before I fouled out. That cost me big time. As it turned out, we still got beat on the clock, but if I would have cut a better light, perhaps, we could have stolen one there."
Despite his ninth first-round loss in 17 races, Mr. Schumacher still managed to jump from fourth in the standings to second based off of his better qualifying performance than Larry Dixon and the fact Brandon Bernstein was sidelined this weekend with kidney stones.
He will head into the Countdown to the Championship, which begins in two weeks at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, 10 points behind leader Rod Fuller.
"We're lucky that we slid into second," added the Chicago native. "But, luck is definitely a part of this sport and it affects every team and driver. Of course, now we have to parlay that luck into successful race results when we get to Indy."
Pro Stock Motorcycles
Given the persistent rainy conditions, Ms. Sampey and Mr. Brown had to endure a long wait at the track before finally getting the news about the race being shifted to Monday.
"It's tough when you get all fired up for race day and then the weather throws a wrench in the plans," said Ms. Sampey. "But, there's nothing you can do. We'll just have to come back tomorrow ready to go."
"I feel the same way," added Mr. Brown. "Postponements are a fact of life during the course of a season. You just have to deal with it and not let it affect you. I'll be just as pumped up on Monday as I was today, trust me."