Topics: Tony Schumacher, NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
U.S. Army Racing
June 20, 2010
BRISTOL, Tenn., June 20, 2010 - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher rolled to his fourth win of the season here Sunday in the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
The seven-time world champion leveled Brandon Bernstein in the finals with a 3.982-second pass at 306.53 mph. It was his 65th career victory.
"This being Father's Day, I'm so happy I can give this trophy to my dad (Don Schumacher)," said an emotional Schumacher afterwards. "It's really a great day all around. My U.S. Army team had to deal with some incredibly tough conditions today and they came through with flying colors. That's just what our Army Strong Soldiers do every day."
With air temperatures in the 90's and track temperatures hovering around 140 degrees all afternoon, Schumacher had to "baby" his dragster down the track in all four rounds of competition against Doug Herbert, Morgan Lucas, Cory McClenathan and Bernstein, respectively.
"I had to do a lot of driving today, let me tell you," he added. "With the track being so slick, the car was sliding around quite a bit and I had to make sure I kept it in the center of the lane. We may not have put up the kind of numbers we normally do, but we got the job done and that's what counts."
Schumacher's quarterfinal round win over Lucas allowed him to clinch a spot in the Countdown to 1, which begins at the U.S. Nationals during Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis.
"It's nice to know we will definitely be competing for another world championship," he said. "Not that we had any doubt we would make the playoffs, but now we can sort of take a deep breath."
Schumacher's third straight Bristol win provided an opportunity to cut into Larry Dixon's lead in the Top Fuel standings. Sitting in second-place, he now trails Dixon by 123 points.
"With Larry going out in the first round, we had a great chance to close the gap," he offered. "Fortunately, we were able to take advantage of the situation."
While Schumacher enjoyed another trip to victory lane, his U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, had his planned visit cut short.
The driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, who was looking for his first win of the year, lost a tire-smoking affair to Bernstein in the semifinals after qualifying number one for the fourth time in 2010.
Over in the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing camp, driver Ryan Newman finished 16th in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 road course race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Schumacher and Brown will now head for Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio next weekend for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.
Newman will travel to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. next Sunday for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.
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