U.S. Army Racing press release
BROWN IN HOT PURSUIT OF FIRST WORLD TITLE SCHUMACHER LOOKING TO END SEASON WITH WIN
POMONA, Calif., November 8, 2011 - U.S. Army NHRA Top Fuel drivers Antron Brown and Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher will be attempting to close the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season with a flourish here this weekend in the 47th annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway.
Brown, who pilots the Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster, will enter the season finale holding third-place in the standings, but is only 14 points removed from his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Spencer Massey, at the top.
A six-time winner to date this season, the New Jersey native is seeking his first career world championship.
"From the very beginning of the year, we have had our sights set on being in a position to win the championship when the final race came around," said Brown. "Well, we're certainly there right now. I'm definitely excited about getting out to Pomona and putting it all on the line."
Brown fully expects an intense battle to arise from the time qualifying begins on Thursday through race day.
"It's going to be crazy right from the outset," he offered. "The problem with this class is there are a million ways to lose and only one way to win. We're just going to go out there and give it our best shot and see where we end up. Hopefully, we'll have the big trophy and big check in our hands on Sunday night."
While not mathematically eliminated from the title hunt (in fifth-place, 136 points behind Massey), Schumacher understands he has a huge mountain to climb at Auto Club Raceway. Hence, grabbing a victory to end the season has become the primary objective.
"We have performed miracles over the years," said the seven-time world champion. "But, admittedly, this would be a tough one to pull off. For us to take home the championship we would need to get every point possible and have the four guys in front of us fail miserably. Realistically, that's probably not going to happen.
"So, instead, we have to concentrate on winning the race which would enable us to have a good feeling going into 2012. We want to send a message the U.S. Army team remains Army Strong and will be back to contend for the championship."
Despite recording six final round appearances and six poles through 21 races, Schumacher surprisingly remains winless this season. Interestingly enough, he has closely followed the course laid out by Brown in 2010.
Schumacher's U.S. Army Racing/Don Schumacher Racing teammate advanced to five final rounds and qualified number one five times before claiming his first and only win of the campaign at the last race of the year.
"And, look how he used that win to gather momentum for this year," said Schumacher. "That's something we need to do for sure. There's not a guy on this team who doesn't believe we can win this weekend and return next year looking to dominate. The U.S. Army team will be heard from again - I guarantee you."