Schumacher Aiming For Midwest Turnaround
ST. LOUIS – Throughout his standout career, Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher has shown an impressive ability to rally when the pressure is at its most intense level.
After struggling through the first two races of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the seven-time world champion will again need to rely on that expertise over the final four events of the 2013 season.
Schumacher and his 8,000-horsepower U.S. Army dragster will have an opportunity to get back on track this weekend at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 27-29 at Gateway Motorsports Park. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec are the defending winners of the third of six races in the Countdown to the Championship.
“Basically, we’ve got to be flawless and miraculous the rest of the year,” Schumacher said. “But it’s been done so many times and we’re so used to that, we’ve just got to make sure we go into those last four with the right car, and it’s not quite there, yet. But we’re closer than we were before.”
Schumacher and the U.S. Army team have made small improvements in the Countdown, but he is ready for a big leap in the midst of this rigorous stretch that includes four straight race weekends.
After losing in the first round at Charlotte to kick off the Countdown, Schumacher won his first-round matchup on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
But Morgan Lucas topped Schumacher in the second round, keeping him 88 points behind leaders Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon, who are currently tied for first.
Schumacher, though, remains confident in what his team is capable of in St. Louis, where he has won twice (2010, 2006).
“We’ll get this right and we’ll go fast,” Schumacher said. “It’s the end of the year and it’s when we have to go rounds. Our Army team has always been known as the team that likes to pull it out at the end, and that’s the time of year when it matters the most.”