Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Tony Schumacher Reflects On Maple Grove First Round Loss

Tony Schumacher qualified the SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster 11th for the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, the opening event of the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Making his first Countdown and Maple Grove Raceway appearance since 2018, Schumacher returned to ‘the Grove’ looking to add to his category-best five Reading Wally trophies.

Schumacher’s 3.754-second pass from the weekend’s third qualifying session pitted him against fellow championship-hopeful Clay Millican in round one of eliminations on Sunday morning. Schumacher, a two-time finalist in 2022 who powered to victory in Seattle last month, scored a large holeshot start on Millican to nab the early lead, but his 11,000-horsepower machine drove into tire smoke shortly after, and his opponent was able to drive around for the win, ending Schumacher’s day after the first round.

“It’s been four years since I’ve been back at Reading, and man, this is a beautiful place,” said Schumacher, an eight-time Top Fuel series champion. “The fans were jam-packed in here all weekend, and we love to see that. Our car did not perform that well during qualifying, and we didn’t do that great on race day. We had a huge lead versus Clay early on and then it spun the tires, I pedaled, it shredded a belt, and Clay got past at the finish line.

“It’s easy to be disappointed, but when I sit down and I think about the day, it comes down to the fact that we are in the entertainment business and there has to be a winner and a loser. And right now, we are not performing to the level we need to be at, but we will get there. And I  know we will get there, and I can say that with confidence because I’ve been in this position before. We will rebound, and we will get our car back into winning form.”

After the first playoff event, Schumacher sits 12th in the point standings and is within one round win of the No. 10-ranked driver. Schumacher and the Maynard Family Racing team compete next at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C., September 23-25, where Schumacher returns as a two-time event champion.

This story was originally published on September 18, 2022. Drag Illustrated

You May Also Like


The star-studded STREET OUTLAWS: No Prep Kings series is set to return for its 6th season in the summer of 2023. Fans can expect to...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star and renowned engine builder Pat Musi joined the recent episode of The Wes Buck Show and provided an update...


Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings star Lizzy Musi announced today that she has been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer via her Youtube channel....


Ryan Fellows, who starred in “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America,” died in a tragic crash while filming for the show in Las Vegas on...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.