The Blackhawk helicopter was circling over Baghdad.
And one of the U.S. Army’s finest pilots was
on the cell phone in those dangerous skies, connected to his National Hot Rod
Association pals in Pomona, Calif. He wanted to know the outcome of Top Fuel
driver Tony Schumacher’s final-round run.
The championship was hanging in the balance.
Doug Kalitta, who had led the standings for the entire second half of the
season, had the Powerade Series title locked up – unless Schumacher could win
the final round against Melanie Troxel with
a national record-setting elapsed time.
In 4.428 seconds, Schumacher did it to clinch
his fourth championship in the Army Dragster. The Run will live in legend. The
miracles of modern technology will stay in Schumacher’s memory.