SCHUMACHER LOSES TO DIXON IN QUARTERFINALS
Topics: Tony Schumacher, O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
U.S. Army Racing
September 19, 2010
CONCORD, N.C., September 19, 2010 -- U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher dropped a quarterfinal round race to Larry Dixon here Sunday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Schumacher left the starting line first with a blistering .036-second reaction time, but just past the 60-foot mark his U.S. Army dragster began to lose traction. The Chicago-area resident tried to settle his car down as Dixon began to smoke the tires around half track, however, the latter had enough momentum to move on and get the win light.
"Very disappointing," said the defending world champion. "That was a huge round for us given the fact Dixon was ahead of us in the points by more than four rounds of racing coming in here. We'll just have to pick up the pieces and go on down the road. That’s all you can do."
Schumacher, who beat Doug Herbert in the opening round of eliminations, will leave the Tar Heel State either in third or fourth in the standings pending the outcome of the second round of the Countdown to 1.
"We know the door was open today for us to control our own destiny," said Schumacher. "We’ll just have to push this result aside and keep working hard. We're not going to quit I will guarantee you that. Our Army Strong Soldiers never quit."
Schumacher and his U.S. Army team will stay over an extra day at zMAX Dragway to test in preparation for next weekend's O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Tex.
"We'll come out here tomorrow and focus on making our car better for the last four races," he said. "While our championship prospects took a hit today, we know this is not over by a long shot. We're going to try and win the next 16 rounds of racing and then we’ll see where we’re at."
Schumacher's U.S. Army teammate, Antron Brown, also exited in the quarterfinals. The driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle against Doug Kalitta and his day ended quickly.
The New Jersey native, who has failed to win a race this season, will head for the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals holding sixth-place in the points.
In the U.S. Army NASCAR camp, Ryan Newman directed his No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish Sunday in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway.
Newman will travel to Dover (Del.) International Speedway next Sunday for the AAA 400.
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