Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NHRA star Tony Schumacher goes for seven straight Top Fuel titles

So Jimmie Johnson is chasing his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title?

Tony Schumacher will see that and raise him by two.

Schumacher, 40, is the six-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion and has seven titles overall. And last year drew notice from outside the NHRA community as well, being named the Speed Channel Performer of the Year, the first drag racer to do so.

Heading into the 2009 season the big question was whether his team would be able to withstand the loss of crew chief Alan Johnson, who had left to join Al-Anabi Racing with driver Larry Dixon.

But with new crew chief Mike Green in charge, Schumacher earned five victories last season and edged Dixon by two points for the championship.

"Mike Green proved he is a very capable crew chief. Something he's wanted to do for a long, long time," Schumacher said in a teleconference this week. "Go out there and do it on his own. (And) it wasn't like we hired anyone off a Cracker Jack box. These guys are excellent. Each one of them in their own right. Now we've been together for a year."

Those victories last year extended Schumacher's all-time Top Fuel record to 61, nine more than Joe Amato. Schumacher has made the final elimination round 95 times, four short of Amato's class record.

Schumacher, who races for the Don Schumacher team owned by his father, is nicknamed "The Sarge," which dovetails nicely with his dragster's sponsor, the U.S. Army.

"I've said this a thousand times," he told John Sturbin of racintoday.com. "I'm not racing for beer, and I'm not racing for tools. I'm racing for a way of life and a group of people. It makes a big difference."

As for 2010, after a preseason test in which he nearly beat 3.75 seconds for a 1,000-foot run, he's eager for this weekend's opener, the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

"The biggest names that have ever won championships in racing and just races in general started right there," he told NHRA.com. "So that's the place. The history of racing comes from California. To go out and perform at that race from the first get-go, man, you just can't beat it."

NHRA star Tony Schumacher goes for seven straight Top Fuel titles 02/10/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2010 7:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.