By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The winningest Top Fuel Dragster pilot has added to his historic résumé. Okuma/Sandvik-sponsored Tony Schumacher has won another Wally at the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil on Sunday at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.
Schumacher went 3.669 at 330.63 mph to receive his first Wally since the 2018 season. Steve Torrence – who was trying to win the Texas two-step – went 3.687 at 330.07 mph in the losing effort.
“I’m super proud and I’m so happy for my guys,” said Schumacher, who returned to the sport in July after not racing in 2019. “I’ve done this and lived these moments, and been part of some cool stuff, and these guys were able to dig deep. That final round, those are epic battles. I’ve been on both sides of that. I beat Torrence in Indy by .0006 and lost the same way to him.
“You’ve got two badass teams battling it out and that was the best race we’ve seen all year. It was a team effort and everybody did a great job.”
With this win, Schumacher secured his first Wally since winning the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee. Following the conclusion of the 2018 season, the U.S. Army’s sponsorship expired.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this race was moved from its normal spring spot in April to the fall. In 2021, the SpringNationals event will take place from May 21-23.
Before this final round appearance, Schumacher and Torrence had 18 wins against each other. In addition, Torrence had a 6-1 advantage over the living legend in previous final rounds.
Torrence had a small starting line advantage, as he had a 0.034 reaction time. Schumacher was a little behind with an 0.050.
Despite the small lead by Torrence, Schumacher was able to make up the difference by the 330-foot mark. He then never trailed in the rest of the race.
Schumacher won by 0.0028 seconds, or approx. 16 inches. He now has 85 career Wallys.
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