The standings may indicate he is attempting to dig himself out of a pretty deep hole, but don’t tell U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher all is lost.

“Yes, it’s clear we’re in third-place and 154 points behind, but last I looked we haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the championship hunt,” said the Chicago-area resident as he assembled his belongings for a trip to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Las Vegas Nationals. “We’re definitely not giving up on winning another title. We’re going to keep fighting every step of the way, just like our Army Strong Soldiers do.”

Schumacher, who has won five races this season, is trying to capture his seventh straight NHRA Full Throttle world championship and eighth, overall. He knows his U.S. Army team will have to overcome huge odds over the final two races of the year to accomplish the mission.

“There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “While we’re aware there has to be a perfect combination of us winning the last two races and getting some early round help, we also know it’s possible. All we can do is to go out and do our jobs and then we’ll see how the chips fall.”

With the Las Vegas tour-stop looming this weekend and the season finale scheduled for two weeks later in Pomona, Calif., Schumacher is not only chasing Larry Dixon at the top of the points, but another veteran driver as well.

“We also have to get around my Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate, Cory McClenathan, who holds second,” said Schumacher. “And, that won’t be an easy task since he’s been running really well for a long time. We’re 65 points behind him right now.”

Should Schumacher be taken out of title contention in Las Vegas, he is prepared to try and help McClenathan win his first crown.

“For sure,” he said. “If there’s a way to help him out, we’ll do it. If we can’t win it all, we certainly want the big trophy to stay with DSR.”

As the 2010 campaign winds down, Schumacher is seeking a top three finish for the ninth consecutive season.

“It’s been a long time since we ended up outside the top three (he was eighth in 2001),” he offered. “That would be a positive way to look at things should we not win the championship. Again, until the bell rings, we’ll continue to throw punches at our opponents.”

Tickets for the Oct. 28-31 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket services office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

Schedule for the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series NHRA Las Vegas Nationals
at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Wednesday, Oct. 27
6 p.m. – Speedway Children’s Charities Cards for Kids poker tournament at Cannery Hotel & Casino.

Thursday, Oct. 28
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. – Registration, tech inspection open (all categories).
8 a.m. – Sportsman qualifying.
4 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
6 p.m. – Track closed.
6-8 p.m. – Free NHRA Fanfest and driver autograph session at Fremont Street Experience.
6-8 p.m. – Free Don Schumacher Racing driver autograph session at New York New York Hotel & Casino.
6-8 p.m. – Free NHRA driver autograph session (Terry McMillen) at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.

Friday, Oct. 29
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
7:30 a.m.-Noon – Registration, tech inspection open (pro teams and Top Alcohol only).
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.\
10:30 a.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
11:45 a.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
12:15 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
1 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
2 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
3:15 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
3:45 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
4:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
5:30 p.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
6 p.m. – Track closed.

Saturday, Oct. 30
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10:30 a.m. – First round of Comp Eliminator eliminations.
11:15 a.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
11:45 a.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
12:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
1:30 p.m. – Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying.
2:45 p.m. – Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
3:30 p.m. – Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car qualifying.
4:30 p.m. – First round of Pro Mod eliminations.
5 p.m. – First round of Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car eliminations.
6 p.m. – Track closed.

Sunday, Oct. 31
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
9 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies.
11 a.m. – Final eliminations begin.
4:30 p.m. – Track closed.

Schedule subject to change.