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Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners on Labor Day at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The 18th event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule was the final race of the regular season. The first of six Countdown to the Championship events begins Sept. 16-18 at zMax Dragway near Charlotte, NC.
Stellar driving by Tony Schumacher and Matt Hagan enabled DSR to sweep the nitro categories and push DSR's win totals to 18 in 36 opportunities through 18 races this season; 10 in Funny Car and eight in Top Fuel. It is the second time DSR has won two pro titles in the U.S. Nationals, but first time in both nitro categories. In 2004, Schumacher won Top Fuel and Antron Brown also won, but it was in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
This year was the first time in the 62-year history of the U.S. Nationals that the nitro finals were decided on holeshot wins.
Schumacher with the U.S. Army team led by crew chief Mike Green and assistant Neal Strausbaugh overcame a quicker Steve Torrence to win his Indy-record 10th Top Fuel title.
"What a special moment. What a magical place," said Schumacher, who was runner-up here in his NHRA professional debut 20 years ago. "You don't want to leave anything on the table, and we didn't.
"In 30 years, when I'm thinking about a great moment, that'd be it. It was great final, live on FOX (TV), Indy, having a chance to win your 10th in a race separated by inches. People want to see a close race, and that's what they got. I'm so blessed to be a part of it.
Steve Torrence came within .006 of a second of getting his third win at the U.S. Nationals.
“Not to take anything away from Schumacher and that team,” Torrence said. “Their record speaks for itself. But to be that close to winning at Indy for the third time in four years and not get it done is…it’s just hard to take.”
Torrence ran a quicker 3.803/325.06 to Schumacher’s 3.806/317.64, but the Reaction Time made all the difference.