SCHUMACHER UPSET IN FIRST ROUND
Topics: Tony Schumacher, O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals
U.S. Army Racing
April 11, 2010
BAYTOWN, Tex., April 11, 2010 - For the first time in 19 races, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher absorbed a first round loss here Sunday in the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.
Schumacher, who had qualified third, smoked the tires on his U.S. Army dragster just after hitting the throttle in his match up with Brandon Bernstein and as a result was sent home in quick fashion. The last time he had such an early exit was at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. last June.
"Obviously, we're very disappointed," said the seven-time world champion. "We hadn't done that in a real long time. I'm not sure -- something may have malfunctioned. We'll have to take a look at the computer and see what took place."
Schumacher was seeking his second win of the year at HRP and the 63rd of his career. He will now have to wait until next weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for another attempt.
"We can't sit and dwell on this result," said the Chicago-area resident. "We'll have to correct whatever went wrong here and prepare diligently for next weekend. We're honored and proud to represent our Army Strong Soldiers, so we're anxious to get back to victory lane as soon as possible for all of those brave men and women."
Schumacher will leave the Lone Star State still holding a spot among the top five in points.
"The points are not the priority right now," he added. "As I said, we need to rectify the problem that popped up here today and move forward. As always, the points will take care of themselves over time."
Just prior to Schumacher's loss, his U.S. Army Racing Top Fuel teammate, Antron Brown, moved on to the quarterfinals following an opening round victory over Spencer Massey. He's pursuing his first win of the season.
Over on the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing side, Ryan Newman, behind the wheel of the No. 39 Tornados/U.S. Army Chevrolet, captured his first win of the year in Phoenix last night. He'll be back in the U.S. Army car next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, while showcasing a special paint scheme recognizing the Army ROTC.
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