Sarge's World: Trying to stay on top

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We're back on the mountain top. After winning the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals down in Dallas this past weekend, the U.S. Army team was able to grab the coveted Top Fuel points lead. What a big victory it was at the Texas Motorplex. We actually beat one of our main competitors in the Countdown to 1, Larry Dixon, in the finals. Of course, he's driving for my old crew chief, Alan Johnson. As I always say, any time you can beat those guys it's saying something. This is the first time since the Topeka race back in May that we've been on top of the standings. Obviously, I hope we're going to stay right where we're at for the remainder of the season. There are only four races remaining and we're going to have to dig down deep each and every round if we're going to clinch our sixth consecutive title. Our Army Strong Soldiers give 110 percent every day, so clearly we should follow their lead. We know it's going to be a tremendous challenge the rest of the way given how good everyone is running right now. Among others, Dixon, Antron Brown, Cory McClenathan and Shawn Langdon can really put a hurting on you. You have to approach every round of racing as if it's the one deciding the world championship. At this point, we have to keep moving in a forward motion. Even the slightest misstep will likely throw you right out of contention. One bad race and it could be all she wrote. To that end, we're focusing on the next race this weekend — the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. We've managed to do well there over the years, so that's a real positive. After Memphis, we'll be traveling to Virginia Motorsports Park outside of Richmond. That will be the last of four straight races. Following the Virginia Nationals, we'll definitely have a better idea of who the serious contenders will be going into the final two races and those drivers who will be resigned to playing the spoiler role. Before I close this column out, I want to make sure I spotlight our VIPs from this past weekend — Major General David Rubenstein and Staff Sergeant Kyle Matus. General Rubenstein took some time off from his duties as Deputy Surgeon General for the U.S. Army to travel from the Pentagon to visit with us. We really enjoyed his company. A Fort Worth native, SSG Matus provided some real inspiration to my guys after they heard his background. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in Iraq that directly resulted in neutralizing two enemy fighters, while saving the lives of three fellow soldiers. Need I say anything more? Without question, we love having people like General Rubenstein and SSG Matus around every weekend. It makes us work even harder. So, I guess we better start thinking about winning the race in Memphis. "The Sarge" extends his usual group salute to y'all. We'll be back with you again early next week. Until then, y'all stay well and please remember our hard working Army Strong Soldiers.

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 will be providing a blog throughout the 2009 season.

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