2014 NHRA: Tony Schumacher NHRA Gatornationals Event Results: Second Round
There's no retreat in the U.S. Army and there's no retreat in Tony Schumacher or his team.
Despite making progress in qualifying and in the first round of Sunday's championship eliminations of the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla., Tony and his seven-time world championship team suffered a second-round loss when their Top Fuel dragster lost traction against Don Schumacher Racing and U.S. Army teammate Antron Brown.
The loss dropped Tony's elimination-round record to 2-4 after three events that leaves him mired in eighth place in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings.
"Our car ran good in the first round," he said of his 3.820-second run at 320.36 mph that defeated Leah Pritchett.
"It's just too unpredictable. We've got to fix it."
Tony qualified a respectable seventh, but has gone the first three events of the season without advancing past the second round.
"You have to go down the track more than once in a while. We have a great group of guys on the Army team, and all three of our DSR cars are working together. Antron right now just has a better program and we have to get on that same program."
Brown advanced to the Gatornationals championship round and nearly won his second consecutive event title of the year.
"We have to get with it and win rounds," Tony said.
"We're getting close," said Tony, who is eager to get to the next event in two weeks at Las Vegas. "We'll stay after Vegas and test more.
"We have a long time; 21 more races. But we have to show these guys. You come out and spank them early then they'll screw up against you later in the year. If we keep coming out like this they'll go for the throat and believe they can beat us every time.
"We have to earn our name back. We're the seven-time world champions. We have to earn that every year. You can't just live off what you've done in the past."
Event winner: Doug Kalitta (Kalitta Motorsports)
No. 1 Qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Al-Anabi Racing), 3.776 sec., 325.37 mph
TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 7
First Round: SCHUMACHER (3.820 sec., 320.36 mph) def. Leah Pritchett (3.855, 318.24); Quarterfinals: Antron Brown (3.810, 321.42) def. SCHUMACHER (5.798, 124.20)
FRIDAY: 3.816 sec., 316.97 mph, (Session 1); 7.100, 82.57 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.895, 318.02, (Session 3); 3.839, 323.19 (Session 4)
NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS
(Through Phoenix, second of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver, (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta, (1), 309
2. ANTRON BROWN, (1), 256
3. Steve Torrence, (0), 230
4. Khalid alBalooshi, (1), 197
5. SPENCER MASSEY, (0), 180
6. Shawn Langdon, (0), 168
7. Brittany Force, (0), 158
8. TONY SCHUMACHER, (0), 146
9. David Grubnic, (0), 138
10. Richie Crampton, (0), 123