Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 4/25/12

 

U.S. Army NHRA Top Fuel drivers Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher and Antron Brown travel to Royal Purple Raceway outside Houston Friday through Sunday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals.

Possessing the mental, emotional and physical strength like the Army Strong Soldiers he represents, Schumacher will be looking to bank his 600th career round win in the opening round of final eliminations on Sunday. Only four other drivers in NHRA history – John Force, Kenny Bernstein, Larry Dixon and Warren Johnson – have hit that mark.

The seven-time world champion will also be attempting to end a winless streak that has now covered 28 consecutive races dating back to the fall 2010 Las Vegas event. He enters the sixth round of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series holding second place in the standings, 22 points removed from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Spencer Massey in first.

Brown, who sits right behind Massey and Schumacher in the standings, collected semifinal-round points at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, N.C., two weeks ago. The New Jersey native, who captured the 2008 race at Royal Purple Raceway, has sat atop the leaderboard twice already this season.

Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster:

How do you feel as you approach your 600th career round win mark?

“I guess I haven’t given it much thought. To be honest, I’m more concerned with getting a race win versus a round win. But, hitting 600 is definitely a milestone, of sorts. I know not many drivers have done that, so it’s probably a big deal. Frankly, on Sunday, I’d like to say that I now have 603 round wins.”

You have won twice at Royal Purple Raceway – in 2005 and 2009. I would imagine the one in 2009 remains quite special.

“It absolutely does – that was the first race win for Mike Green and me. He was my new crew chief at the time after replacing Alan Johnson. All of the so-called experts said I would never win another race or contend for another world championship after Alan left. Not only did we win that race in Baytown, but we won four other races and the world title that year.”

After going four-wide a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte, you are returning to the traditional two-wide format this weekend. Is there some sort of a readjustment that a driver has to make?

“I don’t think so. Racing two-wide is what we normally do, so it comes naturally. The adjustment for everyone was heading into the Four-Wide Nationals since we only do that once a year. And it seemed most of the drivers did pretty well with that this time around. It was really nice to see, given it’s only our third season doing that kind of racing.”

Presently, you are surrounded in the standings by your teammates, Spencer and Antron. That’s not a shock by any means, right?

“Not at all – they are both great drivers with great teams. I fully expect to continue fighting with them the rest of the season. Of course, that’s what my dad (team owner Don Schumacher) wants.”

Antron Brown, driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster:

You were in the final-round foursome at Charlotte but finished a close third behind Spencer and Tony, respectively. How disappointed were you with that result?

“I guess it was a little disappointing in that we knew we had a shot at the win but only came away with points as if we lost in the semifinals. That’s the way it works in the four-wide deal. Certainly, if we were going to lose to anyone in that situation, we wanted it to be to our teammates.”

Are you looking forward to returning to two-wide racing this weekend?

“Four-wide racing really doesn’t bother me, but getting back to two-wide is clearly what we do the majority of the time. So, there is a comfort zone there. What I want to return to, however, is victory lane. That’s the goal for my team no matter what the format is.”

What’s your opinion of Royal Purple Raceway given that you have raced Pro Stock Motorcycles and Top Fuel cars there?

“I like it. There have been a number of records set there over the years. If the wind is blowing right and the cool air comes in off of Trinity Bay, we can really put down some stout numbers. We’ll have to see if the weather cooperates or not. My understanding is we are going to have warm temperatures all weekend long, so we may have to pull the power back a bit.”

With Tony approaching his 600th career round win, what are your thoughts?

“As a friend and teammate, I want him to get it, for sure. He’s achieved so much during his career, it really is mind-boggling. He’s the winningest driver in Top Fuel history – that says it all right there in my mind. If I can do half of what he’s accomplished in the last decade or so, I’d be a pretty happy camper.”

TSC

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues statement without apology

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Michael Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Ray Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker