Topics: Tony Schumacher, Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals
U.S. Army Racing
March 14, 2010
GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 14, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher beat his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the finals of the 41st annual Tire Kingdom Gatornationals here Sunday at Gainesville Raceway.
Schumacher posted a 3.797-second run at 322.04 mph to Brown's tire smoking 6.632-second pass at 101.17 mph and thus captured his first victory of the 2010 season.
"Just like our Army Strong Soldiers, we were not going to accept defeat," said a jubilant Schumacher afterwards. "Yet again, I had a great race car thanks to my hard-working Army team. Those guys just don't make mistakes."
After recording his 62nd career win, Schumacher jumped from fourth-place in the standings to first. He now leads Cory McClenathan by 11 points as the NHRA tour takes a week off before heading to zMax Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. for the Four-Wide Nationals. "It's so early in the season to be worrying about points, but it's still nice to know we're leading," added the seven-time world champion. "We're going to have to keep improving with each race because the competition is so intense. There's some close racing going on right now."
Before getting the best of Brown, Schumacher had to wade through treacherous waters in the form of Terry McMillen, Doug Foley and Larry Dixon. Against Dixon, he set the national speed record for 1,000 feet at 324.98 mph. "Again, Mike Green (his crew chief) and the guys have made the Army car one fast hot rod," said Schumacher. "When I get in the car for each run, I have plenty of confidence we're going to go from A to B in quick fashion. I like having that feeling."
While Schumacher took huge strides as connected to the points standings, so did Brown despite his final round loss. The Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster pilot, who had qualified number one, moved from ninth to fifth. "I'm happy that Antron did well this weekend," related Schumacher. "He really went through a lot the last few weeks after the crash in Phoenix. He seems to be back on track in every which way."
Over on the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing side, driver Ryan Newman had a rare weekend off. He will take his #39 Chevrolet to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway next Sunday for the Food City 500.
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