(Photo courtesy NHRA)

NHRA: Schumacher needs big weekend to keep Top Fuel title hopes alive

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With just three races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship, eight-time and reigning NHRA Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher needs a big-time Texas turnaround this weekend.

Schumacher, as well as the rest of the Top Fuel class, has been at the mercy of Antron Brown thus far in the Countdown.

Brown, who is Schumacher’s teammate at Don Schumacher Racing, has won each of the first three races in the six-race Countdown.

“We do have quite a challenge in front of us over the second half of the Countdown. Hats off to Antron and all those Matco Tools/U.S. Army guys because they’ve had about as perfect of a run so far as you can have in this sport,” Schumacher said in a media release.

And as the NHRA moves into this weekend’s AAA Texas Nationals at the (Ennis) Texas Motorplex, Schumacher – who is in second place in the standings, 94 points behind Brown – knows what is at stake.

And most importantly, with just 12 rounds of racing remaining this season (four rounds in each of the final three races), Schumacher – who is the defending champion of this event – knows what he and his team have to do.

“If you do the math, we have five round wins to make up in the next three race weekends, which is entirely within the realm of possibility, especially for this U.S. Army team,” Schumacher said. “We’ve made up larger deficits before and came out with the championship by the time all was said and done. We live for the challenges we face every day and this is one we’re certainly ready to tackle.

“Obviously, it would be incredible to wipe out the entire deficit at Dallas and then hit Vegas and Pomona (the final two races) on equal ground.

“It’s mathematically possible, but is it likely? I would think not, especially with the way (Brown’s) team has been performing the first half of the Countdown. But, you never know. The way we approach it is to take care of what we can control, and that is to go out and try to be fastest in every qualifying session, then run the table on Sunday. That’s the best we can do.

“I always say it is a gift to be able to do what we do, and it is a gift to be presented with the opportunity to come to bat with the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and your team needing a grand slam to win the game, to win the championship.

“Some people wilt under that kind of pressure. This Army team has proven time and again that it is at its best when those opportunities come around, and we have one of those in front of us right now. It’s time to go out and get it done.”

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IMSA results, points, stats package after Sunday at Mid-Ohio

IMSA Mid-Ohio points results
IMSA
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Acura, Corvette and Lexus teams were the winners in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship points standings and results from Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Leading the way for the overall title were the DPi duo of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves. The Acura No. 7 drivers earned their third consecutive victory for Team Penske, which last won three straight sports car races during the 2007 American Le Mans Series.

Other class winners at the Lexington, Ohio, road course were the No. 3 Corvette C8.R of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia in GTLM and the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz in GTD.

Here are the race stats, points and results from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio:


RESULTS: Click here for the overall finishing order and here for the class breakdown.

POINTS: In the DPi division, the No. 10 Cadillac of Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande lead the points standings. No. 3 Corvette drivers Taylor and Garcia are tops in GTLM.

In GTD, the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 of Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry leads the points over Telitz and Hawksworth.

STATS PACKAGE FOR MID-OHIO:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Leader sequence

Lap chart

Race analysis by lap

Best sector times

NEXT: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will race with its GT divisions Oct. 9-10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.