SCHUMACHER REACHES QUARTERFINALS
Topics: Tony Schumacher, Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
U.S. Army Racing
August 15, 2010
BRAINERD, Minn., August 15, 2010 - Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher drove the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster into the quarterfinals today at the 29th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals here at Brainerd International Raceway.
He started with a 3.846-second, 309.70-miles-per-hour pass to defeat Terry McMillen (3.931 seconds, 308.43 mph) in the opening round. Schumacher's 3.833-second, 310.84 mph lap was not enough to catch Cory McClenathan's 3.831-second run at 312.86 mph in round two.
"We wanted to do better here because winning races is always important and we wanted some positive momentum going into the Countdown to 1 playoffs," he said. "Something broke about half-way down the track, but that's racing. We will be ready for Indy!"
Brainerd was the final race of the regular season; the Countdown to 1 begins with the Labor Day weekend MAC Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
"We will be prepared for the championship run," Schumacher said. "We are on a mission and, like the Army Strong soldiers, maintaining focus on the ultimate goal - for us the championship - is paramount. This means like those brave men and women serving around the world, often in harm's way, we must overcome any adversity encountered along the way to achieve that goal."
Today's result dropped the reigning and seven-time NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel Champion into third place for the Countdown to 1. He opens the playoffs - when the drivers' championship points are reset - 40 points behind regular-season champ Larry Dixon and 30 behind runner-up McClenathan.
"Of course I am disappointed, but I am not worried," the Chicago-native said. "The difference (between starting in second or third place) is only 10 points; and we were in this same position last year when the Countdown started.
"My confidence is based on knowing I have a great car and a great U.S. Army team led by (crew chief) Mike Green. There were a lot of doubters last year when we entered the playoffs in third place, but we got the job done."
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown maintained his fifth place in the points race with today's second-round appearance... He reached the quarterfinals on the strength of a first-round 3.843-second lap at 310.48 mph to defeat Morgan Lucas (3.950 seconds at 297.68 mph), but his 6.256-second, 110.98-mph second-round lap was not enough to best Doug Kalitta who posted a 3.822-second, 320.13 mph pass.
In the U.S. Army NASCAR Racing camp, Ryan Newman finished 23rd today in the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
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