Sarge's world: Just couldn't get traction at Gainesville

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foxsports admin

Well, it's three races down and 21 to go. We just put the wraps on the famed AC Delco Gatornationals down at Gainesville Raceway last Sunday. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Top Fuel team was unable to get past the quarterfinals. We got beat by my Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Cory McClenathan, in what was a classic "pedal fest." For those of you who don't know, a "pedal fest" happens when two cars lose tire traction and both drivers have to lift off the throttle in an attempt to regain traction to the rear tires. As it happens, I left the starting line before Cory and actually had about a half of a car length lead at about the 330-foot mark before tire smoke developed for both of us. Cory was able to get his car to settle down first and he just got around me at the finish line. It was disappointing we couldn't slide by Cory and have a shot at the win. I felt like we had a good car all weekend long. It's just too bad our race day ended the way it did. By the way, in case you were wondering, Cory ended up losing in the finals to Larry Dixon.

Fun off the track

One happy moment to come out of the Gainesville weekend was our meeting with SFC Robert Bozeman. He attended the race as part of the U.S. Army's Hometown Hero program. It's always special to meet our Hometown Heroes. SFC Bozeman was a great person to have around our camp. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Combat Action Badge. He's been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom three times. During his last deployment, he played a major role in both the transfer of Babil Province to Iraqi control and the creation of an Iraqi Army Route Clearance Academy. While I enjoy having any soldiers at our races, I'm especially excited when I know a Hometown Hero will be on site. Without question, they make our world a better place.

Looking forward

Looking ahead, we have a weekend off before heading out to Houston Raceway Park for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals. The weekend after Houston, we'll travel to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We'll go to Houston holding fifth place in the points. Of course, we're hardly accepting of that standing. We want to be leading the pack like we've done in recent years. The good news is we're less than four rounds of racing removed from Antron Brown in first-place. With a good race or two, we can easily advance to the top. Needless to say, that's our goal over the next few weeks. With that, it's time to rejoin my family for a little bit of R&R. "The Sarge" extends his typical group salute to y'all. We'll get back with you right after the Houston race. Don't forget my usual reminder to say a prayer for our soldiers as they protect us on a daily basis. Y'all stay well.

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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