CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Top Fuel world champ can relate to Eli Manning
Like Eli Manning, who directed the Giants to an improbable win over the previously unbeaten Patriots, Schumacher also had to pull off some late heroics in the final round of the last race to secure his fourth straight POWERade world championship.
“Talk about a lot of similarities,” offered the
Schumacher was also quick to point towards a post-game interview with Manning that actually described how he felt going into his pressure-packed match up with Bob Vandergriff Jr. at the Auto Club Finals.
“Eli said he wanted the ball late in the game with a chance to win," he said. "That’s exactly what I was thinking about as I got strapped into my dragster. I wanted to be able to control my own destiny. I wanted the ball in my hands at that point. Those are the kind of opportunities you dream of as you come up through the ranks. I’m pretty sure that Eli had already played out that situation in his head from the time he was on the field as a kid.”
While last year’s title run is still dancing around in Schumacher’s mind, he’ll have to quickly find a way to change gears given the fact the 2008 season opener – the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals – is set for this weekend at Auto Club Raceway.
“We’re all back to square one,” he said. “Every team is tied for the top spot right now. We definitely want to get off on the right foot out in
In ’08, Schumacher will be attempting to break Joe Amato’s Top Fuel class record of five career championships.
“Man, that’s not even on the radar screen since it’s only February,” he said. “If we’re in a position to do that come November, then we’ll certainly think about it at that time.
“We know that we’re going to be engaged in a tough, competitive battle the next 10 months. Every team will be looking to cut us down early and often. Like our soldiers do every day, we’re going to have to stay focused on the mission. And, of course, our mission is to take home another POWERade trophy.”
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