BROWN LOOKS TO STAY ON TOP OF STANDINGS, SCHUMACHER, SAMPEY IN FULL CHASE MODE

With the end of the 2006 NHRA drag racing season in clear sight, U.S. Army drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher, Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown all have specific performance agendas on their respective plates beginning with this weekend's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals here at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On the Pro Stock Motorcycle side, Brown will be eager to pad his lead in the standings with just two races left on the schedule, while Sampey would like to mount a late charge from third-place to capture her fourth world title.

In Top Fuel, Schumacher will have to make up 89 points in the standings if he is to pocket his third straight world championship and the fourth of his career.

Pro Stock Motorcycles:  Brown, who is 27 points ahead of two-time world champion Andrew Hines, can clinch his first NHRA POWERade world title with two solid showings at both Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif. in three weeks.

"I guess I control my own destiny," said the New Jersey native. "My goal is simply to go out and win these last two races and then the outcome will be decided for me. I'm going to go into both races with an open head and just try to stay relaxed."

In attempting to become the NHRA's first African-American world champion, Brown said he will be approaching every round of racing remaining as if he's not the leader.

"I believe you have to pretend you're not in the points lead because I think when you have the lead you tend to go into protective mode. It's all about staying mentally focused and making sure you're watching your P's and Q's."

After setting a new national elapsed time record in Reading, Pa. last month, Sampey will be hoping for similar results over the next couple of weeks as she tries to track down Brown in the points.

"Personally, I'm thinking my chances are pretty good," said the three-time world champion. "But, I also know that my team, overall, is very capable of winning the whole thing. They're capable of pulling off the championship regardless of whether it's me or Antron.

"While I would love to get that fourth ring, I know Antron is trying really hard to get his first. Needless to say, if I don't win, I hope he nails it. I'm rooting for him just as much as I'm rooting for myself."

Top Fuel:  Schumacher will have to take care of his own business while getting some help elsewhere if he's to overtake Brandon Bernstein and leader Doug Kalitta by season's end.

"By going out in the first round down at Richmond two weeks ago, that set us back a bit," offered the Chicago resident. "We're now a little over four rounds out of the lead with only eight rounds of racing left. While we have a big hurdle to jump over, we're confident we can still do it. I can assure you that we're never going to accept defeat."

The defending NHRA POWERade world champion will be doing double duty this weekend in Las Vegas as he will also compete in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, which is a special race-within-a-race that showcases eight of the best-performing Top Fuel teams on the NHRA tour.

Schumacher, who is the defending Budweiser Shootout champion and this year's number one seed, will once again be vying for the $100,000 check that goes to the event winner.

"The Bud Shootout is a blast," he said. "You get in the car and you don't have to worry about points. It's all about the money and the free beer.  You can't beat it."

Tickets for the Oct. 26-29 NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals may be purchased at the LVMS ticket office, by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.