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Sarge's World: Adding to the lead

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We're now halfway through the NHRA's Countdown to 1 and lo and behold the U.S. Army Top Fuel team still holds the No. 1 spot in the standings. Needless to say, we're going to give it all we have over the remaining three races in an effort to provide our Army Strong Soldiers another world championship. Last Monday, in the rain-delayed O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals down at Memphis Motorsports Park, we advanced to the finals but lost a tire-smoking affair to Morgan Lucas. While it would have been nice to close the deal and get another win, we were still able to pad our points lead. Heading into the Memphis tour stop, we led Larry Dixon by just 27 points, but we were able to double that total to 54 following our final-round appearance. Every round of racing and every point from qualifying are so important right now. We want to take as many points away from our competition as possible so by the time we get to the season finale in Pomona, Calif., the middle of next month there will be no question who is going to win the title. Mike Green clearly has the U.S. Army dragster running well. We posted the low elapsed time for the first three rounds of final eliminations in Memphis before stumbling a bit in the finals against Lucas. For some strange reason, the track conditions changed just enough to not allow us to make a clean run. This weekend we're traveling to Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP) outside of Richmond for the Virginia Nationals. I won there last year and would love to duplicate that effort this time around. If the weather cooperates in Virginia this weekend, you may just see some 1,000-foot national records. We set the Top Fuel standard in 2008 with a 3.771-second pass in qualifying. VMP can be a really fast track for everyone, so look out one and all. This will be the last season the NHRA tour visits VMP, so we'll definitely be looking to put on a good show for the fans. There are a bunch of loyal NHRA followers in that neck of the woods, so we want to make sure we leave that market with a good impression. As always, we had a Hometown Hero with us in Memphis — Sgt. First Class Gregory Stube. When he detailed his heroic story from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the team was in complete awe. What a great American Sgt. First Class Stube is, and we're proud to say we met him. With that, it's time to get the gear together for Richmond. "The Sarge" would like to offer up his usual group salute to y'all. Thankfully, we have a couple of weeks off coming up before heading out to Las Vegas for Halloween weekend. So, until then, y'all stay well, and please remember to say a prayer for our brave Army Strong Soldiers. They're keeping us safe and providing us freedom.


Six-time world champion Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher pilots the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. He is providing a blog throughout the 2009 season.

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