Tough break for Schumacher on Army's birthday

Tough break for Schumacher on Army's birthday

Published Jun. 17, 2010 11:17 p.m. ET

As you may have heard, last weekend we celebrated the U.S. Army’s 235th birthday at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

As part of the birthday celebration, we had a cake-cutting ceremony at the starting line just prior to the first Top Fuel qualifying session on Saturday. It was nice to have my U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, my dad/team owner Don Schumacher and U.S. Army Brigadier General Jonathan Maddux participate.

What’s even more special when we have these ceremonies is to hear the reaction of the fans. They were incredibly supportive of the U.S. Army given their thunderous applause. And of course, it should be that way. Our Army Strong Soldiers always deserve our backing in every way.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Top Fuel team could not deliver the ultimate birthday gift: a victory. We were eliminated in the second round by point leader Larry Dixon in a tight race. I actually got off the starting line before Larry and was ahead at around half track, but then my dragster started to lose traction and he was able to move on and just get me at the finish line.


It was disappointing to go out so early last Sunday. We wanted to beat Larry in the worst way so we could cut into his lead in the standings. But it just wasn’t to be.

This weekend down at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway we have a chance at redemption. Despite our result in New Jersey, we will go into the Thunder Valley Nationals still holding second place in the standings. That’s certainly a positive we can carry with us.

Including Bristol, we have only six races remaining before the NHRA’s “playoffs” commence in Indianapolis during Labor Day weekend. I would love to see our team mount a consistent charge between now and then.

We’d love to get on a roll as we approach the U.S. Nationals. Of course, once we get to the Countdown to 1, the points will be reset. If we’re still in second, we’ll only be 30 points bhind the leader. Then it will be game on.

We know every round at every race is going to be a real battle. Listen, nobody ever said this would be easy. Our Army Strong Soldiers deal with a lot on a daily basis and they find a way to get the job done. We’re definitely going to try and take a page out of their book as we pursue our seventh straight world championship.

With that, “The Sarge” is heading for Thunder Valley, which is a place I love to go. Rest assured I’m going to try and give my dad a nice Father’s Day gift late Sunday afternoon in the form of a trophy.

Y’all stay well and we’ll be back with you next week just before traveling to Norwalk, Ohio.