As the Derrick Rose era dawns on the Chicago sports scene it's natural for fans to look back to the glory days
when Michael Jordan led the Bulls to their six NBA championships and the whole town basked in the winning glow.
Well, another local athlete is about to bring home his sixth world championship with what will be
an incredible "5-peat" in the NHRA Top Fuel POWERade drag racing series. Tony Schumacher of suburban Long Grove needs only to qualify this weekend in Las Vegas to clinch the title and tie for third on the winning list with legends, Kenny Bernstein, Warren Johnson and Dave Schultz.
Schumacher knows there won't be the fanfare that an NBA title, a World Series championship or a Super Bowl title brings to the city. But for fans who follow motorsports the feat is just as incredible. With two races left in the season, the Legend of Long Grove could tie the record of fifteen wins at Las Vegas and set a new record at Pomona, California in mid-November.
"We'd like to win the next two races and set the bar so high that it's impossible to break."
Schumacher said recently.
But he's not taking anything for granted. There are no provisional starting spots. This isn't NASCAR. He'll have to qualify before celebrating. His chances are pretty good though, The last time he didn't make the field was back in 2003.
Schumacher has added incentive to bring the title home again this year. His long time crew chief, Alan Johnson, will leave to form his own team at the end of the season. So where does that leave Tony?
"I love a new challenge", he said. "I don't care what form of racing it is. Haven't made up my mind what I want to do. All I know is it's going to be some form of drag racing."
There's talk, although it's a long shot, that the man the called "The Sarge" could trade his U.S. Army sponsored Top Fuel dragster in for a Funny Car. That's the realm of legendary driver, John Force. And it would be a long road to meet or beat Force's record of 14 world championships.