SCHUMACHER OUSTED IN QUARTERFINALS
Topics: Tony Schumacher, NHRA Arizona Nationals
U.S. Army Racing
February 21, 2010
CHANDLER, Ariz., February 21, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher was beaten in the quarterfinals of the Arizona Nationals here Sunday at Firebird International Raceway.
Schumacher, who is the defending world champion, banked a quicker elapsed time than Steve Torrence (3.837-seconds to 3.841-seconds) but it was the latter's reaction time at the starting line that spelled the difference (.056-seconds to Schumacher's .087-seconds).
It marked the second straight race that the Chicago-area resident was taken out by what's known as a "Holeshot" in the sport.
"It's tough to swallow," said Schumacher. "I actually had a decent reaction time, but he was on it. You have to give him credit."
After leveling Andy Carter in the opening round with a 3.824-second run at 317.19 mph, Schumacher was prepared to go deep into the day at Firebird. However, Torrence, who is a cancer survivor, ended his day in abrupt fashion.
"We have a really good car," added the seven-time world champ. "We've just been involved in some great races here early on and have come up short each time. We'll get it turned around for our Army Strong Soldiers. They don't accept defeat and we won't either."
While his early round loss was clearly disappointing, Schumacher's afternoon was a lot easier to handle than Antron Brown's. The driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster was involved in a spectacular crash during a first-round race against Troy Buff.
Brown was initially released from the track medical staff, but then decided to go to Chandler Regional Hospital for further tests. He returned to the track later in the day complaining only of soreness.
"I'm okay," said Brown. "It all happened so quickly and I want to thank the NHRA Safety Safari and the track safety team for tending to me so fast."
Schumacher and Brown will now have two weeks off before traveling to the famed Tire Kingdom Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway, March 11-14.
On the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing side, Ryan Newman, in the #39 Haas Automation/U.S. Army Chevrolet, finished 36th in Sunday's Auto Club 500 Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Newman completed only 148 of 250 laps after suffering a blown engine.
Newman's teammate and co-car owner, Tony Stewart, finished ninth.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will now head for Las Vegas Motor Speedway next Sunday for the Shelby American 427.
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