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Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown take NHRA title chase to Kansas

May 17, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Tony Schmacher prepares to drive.
Tony Schmacher prepares to drive. (Rusty Jarrett / Getty Images )

The championship fight in drag racing's premier class, top fuel, has tightened up considerably as the National Hot Rod Assn. moves to Kansas this weekend.

Tony Schumacher, the record seven-time top-fuel champion, held a slim five-point lead over his teammate and reigning title holder Antron Brown as they arrived at Heartland Park Topeka for the NHRA Kansas Nationals.

Brown, 37, edged closer to the championship lead in the NHRA's Mello Yello Series with his victory last weekend at the rain-delayed Atlanta race, his second win of the season. But he's never won in Kansas.

Schumacher likewise has two victories through the first seven races for far this year but he's also struggled at times, including in Houston and Atlanta.

"When you have weekends like we had at Houston and Atlanta, you just go home, hug your wife and kids and come back and kick tail the next time," Schumacher said. "That's what we look to do at Topeka."

Schumacher, 43, won his first title in 1999 and then won a record six consecutive championships from 2004 through 2009. But he hasn't won a title since then.

In the sport's other elite class, funny cars, Californian Cruz Pedregon continued to lead the title standings by 13 points over former champion Matt Hagan.

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