Schumacher sets sights on world title, Bud Shootout;

Sampey, Brown seek strong finish

 

 

U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, will look to wrap up his second straight NHRA POWERade Top Fuel world championship here this weekend in the ACDelco Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

            Holding a 268-point lead over second-place Larry Dixon, Schumacher only needs to make one qualifying attempt to secure his third career world title, before turning his attention to the prestigious Budweiser Shootout for Top Fuel cars on Saturday, which is a $100,000 race within a race.

            While Schumacher eagerly awaits his return trip to the champion's throne, U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle pilots, Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown, will be attempting to end the 2005 season with strong showings at both Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.

 

Top Fuel

            Coming off three consecutive wins - the most recent coming at Dallas two weeks ago - Schumacher and his U.S. Army team merely have to cross the "t's" and dot the "i's"  in Vegas to claim the '05 world crown.

            "That's a great position to be in, for sure," offered the Chicago native. "We're all looking forward to that moment when the title is officially ours. It will be the proper reward for all of the hard work this team put forth this year."

            Schumacher is also greatly anticipating the opportunity to once again "hand over" a world championship trophy to the soldiers stationed around the world.

            "This world title is for all of those men and women who allow us to live like we do every day," he added. "Without their diligence and dedication, we're not enjoying the freedom that we have today."

            Beyond pocketing the world championship, Schumacher has other business to attend to in the form of the Budweiser Shootout and the ACDelco Nationals.

            He will enter Saturday's special race as the number one seed based off a collection of 10 poles this season. Schumacher will face a yet-to-be determined eighth-place, wild card selection in round one.

            Should Schumacher claim the $100,000 top prize in the shootout, he will then have a shot at the NHRA's "double up" bonus, which goes to the shootout winner who also wins Sunday's race -- the ACDelco Nationals.

            "That's a big chunk of change," he said. "That would be a nice exclamation point if we can achieve that."

 

Pro Stock Motorcycles

Sampey and Brown head for the final two races of the season holding third-place and fourth-place, respectively, in the standings. Each wants to finish with a flourish beginning in Vegas.

 

            "We're definitely going to fight until the bitter end," said Sampey, who won the last Pro Stock Motorcycle race in Reading, Pa. "We've been getting better and better with each race, so our competition knows we're not going away without making some noise."

            "Obviously, both Angelle and I would have preferred to be one and two in the standings at this point in the season," added Brown. "That being said, we both still have legitimate shots at finishing in the top five.

Besides winning, the goal these next two races will be to make sure we don't lose any ground."

            Sampey has recorded three straight trips to the finals at the ACDelco Nationals. She won the event in 2002.