• Residence: Austin, Texas
• Hometown: Chicago
• Date of Birth: Dec. 25, 1969
• Wife: Cara
• Children: Anthony, Michael, Jacqueline • Height/weight: 5-foot-8, 158 pounds • Hobbies: Hockey, fly-fishing, golf, racquetball, flying radio-controlled helicopters, kick boxing and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle • On the Internet: twitter.com/ARMYRACING, twitter.com/TheSargeTF, facebook.com/TonySchumacherTF, GoArmy.com, ShoeRacing.com
• Category: Top Fuel Dragster
• Sponsor: U.S. Army
• Team owner: Don Schumacher Racing
• Crew chief: Mike Green
• NHRA series championships: 8
• NHRA event titles: 82
• NHRA final rounds: 143
• NHRA No. 1 qualifying positions: 80
• First to reach 330 mph at 1,000 feet (330.30 mph, Charlotte, 2012) and quarter-mile (330.23 mph, Phoenix, 1999) • Career-best elapsed time: 3.686 seconds • Career-best speed: 330.55 mph
• Won eighth Top Fuel world championship in 2014 and second with crew chief Mike Green • Won six consecutive championships (2004-2009) • One of three drag racers to earn prestigious Driver of the Year Award (2008) when he won 15 of 18 championship-round appearances during the 24-race season • Has won a record 10 U.S. Nationals Top Fuel titles • Son of drag racing pioneer and DSR owner Don Schumacher
• Most Top Fuel championships: 8
• Most consecutive Top Fuel championships 6 (2004-09) • Most Top Fuel event titles: 80 • Most event titles in a season: 15 (2008), tied an NHRA professional record • Most consecutive championship rounds: 11 (2008) • Most championship rounds: 18 (2008) • Most elimination round wins: 76 (90 percent, 2008) • Most NHRA pro series wins at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis: 10
U.S. Army, Tony Schumacher Look To Bounce Back in 2017
Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher and the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster team led by crew chief Mike Green endured a challenging season in 2016 that netted an eighth-place finish in the final Top Fuel standings after a strong runner-up finish in 2015. Still, the eight-time-championship Schumacher exhibited his typical flashes of brilliance in upping his record number of career event titles to 82 behind victories at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver and the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
The Indy event weekend included a victory in the TRAXXAS Shootout all-star race. And the main event win was the 10th of Schumacher’s career, making him the winningest U.S. Nationals driver in all NHRA pro categories.
The Sarge’s first event title of the season was the third of his career at Bandimere Speedway on the outskirts of Denver. He capped it with a final-round victory over Don Schumacher Racing teammate and fellow U.S. Army driver Antron Brown. Schumacher added a trio of final-round appearances at Englishtown, Bristol and St. Louis to up his career total of 143 event finals in 456 career events. He also scored his No. 1 qualifying position at Pacific Raceways near Seattle to up his Top Fuel record to 80 career No. 1 positions.
Despite the up-and-down season for the U.S. Army team, Schumacher showed speed on a more consistent basis than he had in recent years. He entered the season with a career-best elapsed time of 3.719 seconds, but bettered that mark four times in 2016. He lowered his career best to 3.686 seconds with his qualifying run at Seattle in August, and added another sub-3.7-second run with an effort of 3.694 seconds at the following event at Brainerd.
After narrowly missing a title in 2012, Tony and his U.S. Army team stormed to an eighth title in 2014 by dominating the NHRA Countdown to the Championship six-race playoff. Schumacher won the first two events in less than 24 hours at the Texas Motorplex. They won in Reading and were finalists in five of the six events and he clinched drag racing’s ultimate prize with one day left in the season.
In 2006, Tony rallied from a 336-point deficit to take the championship in the final round of the season the year before the six-event Countdown to the Championship was instituted. He not only had to win the final round but set an NHRA national elapsed time record in the process. He did both.
The year after that, Tony had to win the last event title of the year and he did.
DSR and the Army team made a major contribution to the sport in 2012 unveiled a new safety canopy late in August that propelled Top Fuel drag racing firmly into the 21st century.
The canopy was developed by Green, DSR, James Brendel and Indianapolis-based Aerodine Composites Group.
The canopy protects the driver with a hydraulic, fighter jet-type canopy that includes sides and rear made of a combination of Kevlar and carbon fiber that slips over of an existing chassis.
The module is reinforced for further side protection. The canopy can be quickly released inside by the driver or at the rear by crew or safety workers. The canopy also carries a fire suppression system and fresh-air breathing system similar to those used in Funny Cars.
Tony became the first NHRA racer to reach 330 mph since the sanctioning body shortened the racing distance from 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet with a speed of 330.30 mph near Charlotte, N.C., early in 2012.
He also is the first to reach 330 mph over 1,320 feet when he went 330.23 mph in 1999 near Phoenix.
Tony’s entry into drag racing was in a 160-mph Super Comp dragster in 1992, but it didn’t take long for him move up to something much faster. In 1993-94, Tony drove the 290-mph Odyssey Jet Dragster owned by Wayne Knuth, and graduated to a Top Alcohol Funny Car in 1995-96.
In 1996, he drove in four NHRA Top Fuel events and was runner-up at the first one, the prestigious the U.S. Nationals.
Tony attended Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill., and St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. He later attended Oakton Community College before majoring in marketing and business administration at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
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