U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher has heard all of the title talk for the better part of two weeks, but he's just not going to buy into any of it right now.

The Chicago-area resident needs to qualify for this weekend's ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals here at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to clinch his fifth consecutive POWERade world championship and the sixth of his career.

"Everyone has been in my ear about Vegas since we left Richmond," he offered. "I'm not going to assume anything. We have to go out there and get in the show. Only then will we be able to celebrate. Until I see we're in Sunday's race day line up, I'm not sending up any balloons. Call me conservative, but that's just how I feel. I've seen way too many strange things happen in this sport."

The chances are pretty good that Schumacher will secure a spot in the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals 16-car field. His last DNQ dates all the way back to the 2003 race at Englishtown, N.J.

"Again, we still have to earn our way into the race," he added. "We're not like NASCAR where there are provisional starting positions available if you don't qualify well. I'll be more relaxed after I see we're among the quickest 16 cars."

Should Schumacher qualify and subsequently clinch a record-setting sixth Top Fuel crown, he will immediately focus on winning his 15th race of the season.

If he manages to claim the final two races of the year, while totaling eight more round wins, he would break Greg Anderson's 2004 single season records for event wins as well as round wins.

"We're certainly going for those records," he said. "This has been such a terrific year already, so we should try to finish it off in grand style. Our Soldiers expect us to give our all every time we compete. That's exactly what we're going to do these last two races."

At The Strip, Schumacher will be eager to impress a special guest who will be in attendance courtesy of the U.S. Army.

"We're excited that the Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army - Kenneth Preston - will be visiting with us," he said. "He's a real important guy in that he serves as the Army Chief of Staff's personal adviser on all enlisted-related matters. We definitely want to make sure he has a good time while he's with us in Vegas."

Courtesy: Chris Dirato