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Mar 31, 2014 - 10:06 AM
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2014 NHRA: Tony Schumacher SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Event Results: Winner
Posted by: newsla on Mar 31, 2014 - 10:03 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Tony Schumacher SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Event Results: Winner
When Tony Schumacher woke up in Las Vegas on Sunday morning he might have been the only racer happy with a forecast including 20-mph winds for championship eliminations of the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

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"I liked it when I heard it would be windy this weekend," he said of cross-wind conditions that can wreak havoc on 325-mph dragsters. "That separates the top drivers from the rest."

Confidence is a word prevalent in the vocabulary of U.S. Army soldiers and members of Tony's U.S. Army Top Fuel drag racing team at Don Schumacher Racing.

A word you won't find in either group's vocabulary is complacency and the strive for greatness was evident at Las Vegas when Tony and the U.S. Army team led by crew chief Mike Green and assistant Neal Strausbaugh ended a span of 15 events without a title by defeating NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points leader Doug Kalitta for his 73rd event title and a record eighth at the track.

Schumacher's last final round was last June at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago where he also won his previous Wally trophy.

Schumacher won in his 126th championship round with a time of 3.797 seconds at 326.16 mph to defeat points leader Doug Kalitta's 3.814 (321.12). It was Schumacher's quickest run of the weekend in the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals.

The 221st event title for Don Schumacher Racing by the seven-time world champion moved the U.S. Army from eight to fourth in the Mello Yello standings after four of 24 races.

DSR and U.S. Army teammate Antron Brown, who started championship eliminations from the No. 1 qualified position, lost to Schumacher in the semifinals.

Schumacher received an assist from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in the quarterfinals when a mechanical problem nearly stopped Massey's Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher in its tracks at the starting line while the U.S. Army lost traction and slowed to a 4.869 (220.69).

There's nothing wrong with a break here and there, but what has impressed Tony since winning at Chicago has been the titanium like nerves of Green and Strausbaugh who have adjusted to three new crewmembers while still working to become a dominant Top Fuel dragster.

"I wouldn't trade Mike and Neal for the world. I know what they've been trying to do. They stay here late and get here before everyone else. They want to win more than anyone I've ever seen.

"It's easy to smile when you're winning but to pull a team together through a difficult time like we were having is what makes championship teams. At the end of the year when you're making those last couple of runs to win a championship and you knew you stuck together through the adversity and got through tough times. That is when you want to win the most together and pull off miracles.

"We're going to be a great team."

TOP FUEL
Event winner: Tony Schumacher (DSR)
No. 1 Qualifier: Antron Brown (DSR), 3.768 sec., 325.14 mph

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 5
CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First Round: SCHUMACHER (3.808 sec., 320.13) def. Troy Buff (3.858, 305.08); Quarterfinals: SCHUMACHER (4.869, 220.69) def. Spencer Massey (12.908, 68.25); Semifinals: SCHUMACHER (3.812, 327.43) def. Antron Brown (3.875, 300.46); SCHUMACHER (3.797, 326.16) def. Doug Kalitta (3.814, 321.12)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 3.837 sec., 322.27 mph, (Session 1); 3.816, 322.96, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.584, 166.93, (Session 3); 3.799, 324.28 (Session 4)

NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL STANDINGS
(Through Las Vegas, fourth of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins), points
1. Doug Kalitta (1), 412
2. ANTRON BROWN (1), 339
3. Steve Torrence (0), 314
4. TONY SCHUMACHER (1), 262
5. SPENCER MASSEY (0), 236
6. Khalid alBalooshi (1), 229
7. Shawn Langdon (0), 223
8. Brittany Force (0), 191
9. Richie Crampton (0), 157
10. Bob Vandergriff (0), 150



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