News: Schumacher posts fourth straight final round loss
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Scott Turner
U.S. ARMY NHRA RACING REPORT
LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn. - U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher lost in the finals for the fourth consecutive race here Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
For the second time in three events, Schumacher was beaten by his U.S. Army Racing/Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Antron Brown, who captured his fourth victory of the year.
Brown's Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster posted a clean 3.844-second pass at 319.22 miles per hour down Brainerd International Raceway, while Schumacher's dragster smoked the tires early on and coasted to a 5.806-second lap at 123.81 mph.
"Yet again, we just can't seem to reach that top step on the ladder," said Schumacher. "It's a little frustrating, but we're not going to get down or lose faith in any way. We'll keep plugging away and the victories will be there for us and our Army Strong soldiers before too long. Eventually, it will be our time."
Schumacher, who currently has a lock on fourth-place in the standings, is hoping his time will come in two weeks at the NHRA's most prestigious race - the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis during Labor Day weekend.
The Chicago-area resident has eight wins to his credit at Lucas Oil Raceway, which has him tied with NHRA legend Don Garlits for the most Top Fuel U.S. Nationals victories.
"There's not a better place than Indy to get our first win of the year," said the seven-time world champion. "Of course, it would also give us that extra bit of momentum to take into the Countdown to 1."
Heading to Indy, Schumacher trails third-place Spencer Massey by only six points and Brown in second-place by 35 points.
"With the playoffs right around the corner, we would love to take over that second-place spot," said Schumacher. "Not only are we running well enough to do that, but I feel confident we are running well enough right now to win the world championship. I really can't wait for these next seven races."
After claiming his 29th career NHRA national event win, Brown was also excited about his world title prospects.
"I have one bad hot rod right now," said the New Jersey native. "We seem to be peaking at the right time with the Countdown looming on the horizon. With that said, we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. We need to go to Indy and do well there so we can start the Countdown on a positive note."
Following his first win at Brainerd in a dragster (he had previously collected four wins on a Pro Stock Motorcycle), Brown moved into second-place behind points leader Del Worsham, who he beat in the semifinals.
"If we can stay in second, we'll be right there with Del when they reset the points (he would be 30 points back)," said Brown. "For sure, that's definitely going to be one of our goals going down to Indy."
While Brown and Schumacher were enjoying a productive day in the Gopher State, so was U.S. Army NASCAR racing driver Ryan Newman at Michigan International Speedway.
Newman finished fifth in the Pure Michigan 400, his eighth top-five and 11th top-10 finish of the season. Now seventh in the driver standings, he will travel to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on Saturday night for the next Sprint Cup Series race.
U.S. ARMY NHRA RACING
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