U.S. Army Top Fuel drivers Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher and Antron Brown were at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday for the third annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Carrying a special U.S. Army Reserve paint scheme on his Top Fuel dragster, Schumacher finished runner-up to event champion Spencer Massey, while Brown, in his Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, ended the weekend with semifinal-round points after coming in third behind Schumacher and Massey in the last foursome of the day.
“I feel bad we didn’t get a trophy for our Army Strong Reservists,” Schumacher said. “We gave it our best shot, just like they do for us on a continual basis. Man, I hope the win light will swing our way sometime real soon.”
This was the third time in five races thus far in 2012 Schumacher has come away with a second-place finish. He was 0-7 in finals last year.
“It is getting kind of old,” the Chicago-area resident said. “But, we are going to do like we always do and keep our heads up. We’re going to break down the door eventually – I think most everyone agrees.”
Schumacher was right with Massey for much of the race, but the former’s 3.833-second pass at 320.81 mph trailed Massey’s 3.802-second run at a blistering 332.18 mph.
“It was another close one, for sure,” Schumacher added. “But, we’ve been on the short end of too many of those kinds of races the last year and a half. I’m ready to turn our fortunes around.”
With his loss to Massey, Schumacher’s winless streak has now climbed to 28 straight races. He was also denied his 600th career round win.
“The 600th round win will definitely come (he’s at 599) and so will a race win,” Schumacher said. “Like they say, patience is a virtue.”
While Brown was in the same foursome as Massey, Schumacher and Doug Kalitta and also had a shot to win it all, he ended up third with a 3.844-second trip at 322.34 mph.
“We certainly had the car loaded up, but Tony and Spencer were just on it a little bit more,” Brown said. “I’m not disappointed at all with our weekend. Yes, we dropped in the standings, but we put forth a terrific effort and that’s all anyone can ask for.”
Brown arrived in Charlotte holding the points lead, but he departs in third behind Massey and Schumacher, respectively.
“This is only the fifth race of the year and you are going to see a lot of moving around in the standings between now and when the Countdown to the Championship begins later this season,” Brown said. “You always want to be on top, but it’s at the end of the season when it counts the most.”
Schumacher and Brown will now take a weekend off before heading to Royal Purple Raceway near Houston April 27-29 for the O’Reilly Spring Nationals.
“We’ll take it to them again in a couple of weeks,” Schumacher said. “I know I’ll have another great racecar when we get down to Houston and will have another opportunity to take home a trophy.”
“I feel exactly the same way as Tony does,” Brown said. “We’ll be prepared to take on all comers, for sure, including my teammates Tony and Spencer. The Top Fuel class is a real war right now and you better be ready for anything at every race.”
Going into round six of the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, following are the top-five in the Top Fuel standings:
1. Spencer Massey (465 points)
2. Tony Schumacher (443 points)
3. Antron Brown (438 points)
4. Morgan Lucas (384 points)
5. Shawn Langdon (294 points)
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