Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Schumacher no match for Busch
Kyle Busch 3, Tony Schumacher 0.
In an unofficial battle between the two best racers in America this year, Busch can claim the crown. He earned a clean sweep over Schumacher on Tony's turf -- drag racing.
The two drivers had some fun Tuesday in a head-to-head matchup as a promotional gimmick for the upcoming inaugural NHRA event at the new ZMax Dragway on the grounds of Lowe's Motor Speedway.
It was the man who leads the Sprint Cup standings with eight victories against the five-time Top Fuel champion who set a record Sunday at Indianapolis with his sixth consecutive NHRA victory and his 11th win this season.
Both drivers were racing identically prepared 2008 Toyota Camry pace cars. Their names were plastered across the sides of the machines.
Busch easily won the first pass on the new track, but he got a freebie on the second race when Schumacher jumped the start and red-lighted.
In Schumacher's defense, Sportsman's class starting lights were used, a much slower starting-lights progression than he's used to in Top Fuel. And Busch's car lost only once all day, including several media matchups.
The show was supposed to be the best two out of three, but LMS president Marcus Smith didn't want it to end on a red light, so the two drivers lined up one final time. The last pass was close, but Busch beat Schumacher to the quarter-mile finish line.
Schumacher should have insisted they race to 1,000 feet. Since the NHRA shortened the distance of the Top Fuel and Funny Car races, he's 24-0 in runs down the track.
After the Cup race at Auto Club Speedway Sunday night at Fontana, Calif., Busch flew to Indianapolis and watched Schumacher win the U.S. Nationals for the seventh time in his career.
Schumacher tends to get a little long-winded at times when answering questions, which Busch noticed.
"For a guy who goes 300 mile per hour in four seconds, he sure can talk a long time," Busch said.
After the matchup Tuesday, Busch asked Schumacher if he would like to try it on Kyle's turf for 500 miles on an oval track.
"No thanks," Schumacher said. "I have a five-second attention span for racing."