|TONY “THE SARGE” SCHUMACHER, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster:|
Everyone looks forward to a new season and the opportunity of beginning a quest for a championship.With one event under your belt, can you gauge the level of excitement you have for the 2017 campaign?
“I’m extremely excited. Sunday afternoon in Pomona I was ready to start racing at Phoenix the next day. That’s just the kind of weekend we had and the kind of start that gets everyone pumped up for the year. Our stated goal from day one is to be in a position when we come back to Pomona either already being crowned the 2017 champions or in a position to win it there. It’s a long season, but we got off to a great start. The focus now turns to Phoenix where we’ve had our share of success. That doesn’t mean anything this weekend if we don’t bring an A+ effort. There is only one winner and with the level of competition in the NHRA right now you can’t bring anything but your best. That’s where having a team like these U.S. Army guys is so key.”
Your success rate at many of the facilities sets the standard. Wild Horse is one of the tracks where you have the most wins. Why have you been successful in Phoenix?
“There is a simple answer. It’s about having a great team around you. It takes everyone one of us to have a chance on Sundays. From all the people at DSR working on building pieces that my guys use to put these racecars together to all the personnel of the U.S. Army backing us for all of these years, it takes everyone and everything working together. Being surrounded by a group of people capable of the moment is what I live for. Over preparing and going with the flow. That’s what we do. Racing in Phoenix has always been fun for me. The last several years its an early-season race and everyone wants to get that first win. We spent a few days testing there before we went to Pomona and that’s something I think helps us. Again, it’s that preparation. We have two days of qualifying sessions to get us ready for eliminations on Sunday. I know Mike (Green) has a plan and we’re going to do everything we can to execute it this weekend.”
|ANTRON BROWN, driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster:|
Over the past two seasons your Matco Tools/U.S. Army team has been extremely consistent. How do you continue that from season to season in a class that just seems to be getting tougher and tougher each year?
Things have gone well for you and your team at Wild Horse the past five years. What’s the game plan coming into the weekend?
“Our plan is to outwork everyone. We put in the work three weeks ago with our preseason testing in Phoenix before we went to Pomona. Conditions always change, but we have accumulated a lot of data. We know that we could have a totally different racetrack from what we saw in testing out there these next couple of days, but that’s part of the challenge. I know Brian (Corradi), Mark (Oswald) and the entire Matco Tools/U.S. Army team will be ready. I’m looking forward to it. I felt like we had the car to win in Pomona. We made it to the semifinals, so we are looking forward to getting the job done this weekend.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!