Commentary

Five-time champ Schumacher can't buy a win at Englishtown

Tony Schumacher has five world championships and 45 career victories, but the Top Fuel kingpin doesn't have a win at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, he writes in his diary.

Updated: June 18, 2008, 4:20 PM ET
By Tony Schumacher | Special to ESPN.com

Tony Schumacher
Schumacher

You will have to forgive me if I begin to show signs of frustration when the topic of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park enters a conversation. Man, that track flat out gives me a headache every year.

This weekend we're making the annual trek to historic Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., for the Lucas Oil SuperNationals.

Despite capturing five world championships and 45 career victories, I still can't seem to get out of my own way at the facility located in the central part of the Garden State.

Since 2003, we have recorded a DNQ, a second-round loss and three first-round losses, the most recent of which came last year after a track-record 4.455-second pass in qualifying.

After that DNQ in '03, we've always managed to qualify well there, but then race day becomes a whole different story. I guess it's one of those things in life you just can't explain.

We're certainly hoping that this will be the year we notch our first win in New Jersey. We figure the percentages are bound to move in our favor.

It has to happen sooner or later for us. We've run so well for so long that you would think our time has come to win there. We almost crossed Atlanta Dragway off the non-win list this year.

Excluding the new Charlotte track, Raceway Park, Virginia Motorsports Park (outside of Richmond), Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas and Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., are the four tracks where I've failed to pocket a victory.

All I can say is that there are places where you operate in a comfort zone and then there are those that just give you nightmares. Every driver and crew chief has those two lists, trust me.

If our success thus far in 2008 is any indication, we may be in for a pleasant experience this weekend. Having sat atop the Top Fuel standings since the season opener, we're coming off our fourth win of the season at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., two weeks ago.

We definitely have momentum going into Englishtown. But we also know it will take a huge effort to win up there. Just like our Army Strong Soldiers, failure will never be an option in our camp.

With that, it's off to the home of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi. As usual, "The Sarge" salutes you all.

We'll move from Englishtown, N.J., to Norwalk, Ohio, next weekend for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. So, until then, please stay well and remember to keep our soldiers in your thoughts and prayers.

Five-time world champion Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher drives the U.S. Army-sponsored Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and is providing a diary for ESPN.com throughout the 2008 season.

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