Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), opened eliminations by winning his first round foursome over Khalid alBalooshi, Sidnei Frigo and Richie Crampton with a pass of 3.815 seconds at 3.2412 mph. In the second quad, the seven-time Top Fuel champion was edged by J.R. Todd and Doug Kalitta. Schumacher and Kalitta ran identical times (3.847 seconds), but Kalitta bested "The Sarge" on the starting line with his light of 0.069 seconds compared to 0.091 seconds.
"I just let myself down on that run," said Schumacher. "And, I hate to do that. The resolve that this U.S. Army team displays is the strength of our team, just like that of the Army Strong Soldiers. They never give up. I had a good light in the first round (0.063 seconds) and was absolutely planning on the same thing in the second round. I just left a little late. It would have taken an amazing reaction time to win regardless. If you can't rise to the occasion.that's what we are here for. It's not easy. It's more difficult to leave in those center lanes. I'm not making excuses at all. I caught myself looking up instead of looking at the right bulbs. Two cars made it down the track quicker than us and earned a win and gave themselves a chance to win the Four-Wide. We didn't. We're going to stay here and test tomorrow. We're getting a lot better. The U.S. Army car is getting a lot faster, and we're going to win a lot of races this year."
The key to Brown's run to his first Four-Wide victory, and 43rd overall NHRA event title, was his reaction time. The 2012 Top Fuel champion left the line in 0.042 seconds in the final foursome aboard the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Dragster for DSR. The time enabled Brown to earn the win light with his pass of 3.800 seconds at 317.42 mph despite the fact that Shawn Langdon also turned in a pass of 3.800 and J.R. Todd clocked a run of 3.799 seconds. Brown was consistent all weekend making three solid runs in qualifying and then exceptional lights in both the first round (0.051 seconds) and the final sealed the victory run.
"Just an incredible day," said Brown. "It feels good to get another win; it's tough enough just to win a round in this Four-Wide deal, but we did it today. As drivers, the only thing we can do is screw it up on the starting line. You just have to be on point and give it all you have. When you're racing people like J.R. Todd, a great driver, and Langdon, a tremendous leaver, you've got your work cut out for you. I just went up there and was poised. On race day, you have to be on time. It feels really good to get the job done, especially when the Matco Tools/U.S. Army boys work so hard. To go out in the final round and do what we did is purely awesome. This feels really good."