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NHRA Video Blog 6

U.S. soldiers of all backgrounds visit the racetracks and provide inspiration for the racing team to pull out a win for the Army.

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NHRA Video Blog 6

U.S. soldiers of all backgrounds visit the racetracks and provide inspiration for the racing team to pull out a win for the Army.

Moderator: We're here with Tony Schumacher driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster at Memphis Motorsports Park for the O'Reilly Mid South Nationals. Tony, you're coming off a big win in Dallas last weekend and you took over the points lead for the first time since Topeka in May. Tell us how that felt getting back to the point lead.
Tony Schumacher: It's great, you know. We're down to four races right now. It's a good time to peak and have a great race car. We spend a lot of time, probably since Denver, testing new products for the car, new parts on the car, new tune-up. The criticism was we're not winning those races. We were getting prepared for the countdown and the final couple races. We need to run the best, that's how you win the championship. We know what we're doing. We're out doing it well, We're going to try and win the last four, gain more points than anyone else, and do something no one has ever done before. Win six championships in a row.
Moderator: Now where here at a track that you've had success at and shall we say excitement at as well. Tell us about what Memphis Motorsports Park means to you.
Tony Schumacher: Well, I mean, I've been upside down here a couple of times, crashed some cars at pretty good speeds and got broken up. I've also won a lot of races. So, you want to come back to the tracks that are exciting and definitely, it has left nothing but excitement in my mind. I can remember some great moments and some pretty scary ones, but you know, you don't buckle into a car that makes 8,000 horsepower and not assume a little bit of fear. It's just the car can do some crazy things, but the nine guys that built my car take away the majority of that fear. They give me a great machine with the best parts and people and they give me the will to want to go out and win.
Moderator: Now we always talk about momentum in this sport and now you have it from the Dallas win. Obviously a good run here tomorrow, on race day, on Sunday is going to be critical to keep that momentum going.
Tony Schumacher: Well there's no question about it. But I think to get a machine to do the same thing time and time again. We'll let the crew chief and the guys that work on the car know that they go out and tune the car up. Mistakes aren't going to be made in the driver's seat and we can go out and try to win. We've got to have momentum. You don't want to have a simple two cent part break and cost you the world championship, so we always look after that stuff and change it. We want the momentum to go in the right direction. We've seen other cars like Antron go out and win a lot of races at the beginning and get beat early in the countdown, that's not the momentum we need. We'll go out and try to run fast, try to stay focused, and do a great job.
Moderator: Now we have, all the time we have Soldiers that come to our pit area, and obviously provide a lot of inspiration to not only yourself, but to the entire team and Mike Green the crew chief. This particular race we have a very special guest SFC Greogry Stooby, a guy that's well decorated and I'm sure you've had some time to speak with him and understand what he's about. Tell us about your experiences with him.
Tony Schumacher: He's a great man, a great American Soldier. He got blowed up pretty good and is still there. He's a Medic, he didn't even have to be on that mission. He was over there because he was asked by a bunch of guys, ???hey man this is going to be a hot battle to be a Medic.??? He went down and did an outstanding job, got himself hurt but didn't retire from the Army. He stayed active, does a lot of speeches and inspires a lot of people, just a great person. And his wife is here too. And I'll tell you what, you know I understand being a racecar driver what its like to have a wife at home in fear. She's very cool, she's very supportive, and I think that's what helps those Soldiers get through it. Very tough times.
Moderator: And of course our Hometown Heroes always provide the motivation, inspiration you want. But, we also want to give you the opportunity to provide a message to our hard working men and women around the world.
Tony Schumacher: I think, you know, you hear the stories from guys that come back; you're all doing an outstanding job. We know, the people that watch we understand you're a bunch of butt kicking people out keeping America free. Thank you so much for it. That news is all nonsense. We know that. You give us the right to be out here racing cars. I get surrounded by the greatest guys and girls in the world. All the Soldiers, not just the Army, but all the different branches. They all come by and support us. All part of America and all fighting for us. Thank you guys and hope to see you at a race soon.
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