Hello again. It’s been a bumpy few days for me after the Gatornationals. We got home Sunday evening after the race and all was A-OK, but yesterday I noticed my dog, Teddy, wasn’t acting normal. So, I took him to the vet and they ran some tests and blood work. They gave Teddy some antibiotics and he rested most of the day yesterday. This morning he still didn’t seem normal and wasn’t eating. I even cooked him pasta and when he wouldn’t eat the pasta, I got a little more worried. We’re back at the vet and I’m blogging as I wait and my fingers are crossed. I hope Teddy feels better soon.
The Schumacher’s are a dog family. Don, mom and I love our dogs. They’re like our kids and we treat them like family. We were really excited last week when we found out Antron’s family adopted a dog from the Humane Society in Indy. His name is Levi and he’s a Parson’s Jack Russell Terrier. The Brown’s are very excited about having Levi join their family and it’s great Levi now has a loving home.
Before the Gatornationals, I had my Spring Break week from Lynn Univ. and we spent it at the beach with some friends, including Rahn and Ellen Tobler. Ellen is very close with my mom and the Tobler’s are a blast. It was fun to spend some time with Rahn away from the race track when he wasn’t solely focused on tune-ups, clutches and race cars.
Our drivers kept busy before the Gatornationals as Antron and Ron both had vocational school visits. Antron at Mid-Florida Tech near Orlando and Ron at J-Tech in Jacksonville. Jack attended Don Garlits’ annual Hall of Fame inductions and was the presenter for 2014 inductee and Funny Car champion Frank Hawley. Jack has been a friend of Frank’s for many year and still works as an instructor at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.
We had a weekend of fantastic weather at the Gatornationals. Mother Nature has blessed us with terrific weather at the first three races and that’s awesome for the fans. The fans responded and showed up in droves all weekend long. The Gators is a destination race. Lots of fans trek to warm, sunny Florida in mid-March for the first NHRA race on the East Coast and 2014 was no different. It’s been a lengthy, harsh winter in much of the country, so why not come spend the weekend at the NHRA races in Florida, right?
The 2014 version of the Gators certainly wasn’t as special as last year. It’s hard to top the 200th win with Johnny Gray and Antron’s double-up in ‘13. Our teams continue to work through some new tune-up combinations and progress with the performance of their cars. We want to peak during the Countdown rather than earlier in the year. That’s our 2014 goal, two nitro championships.
Antron and the Matco team continue to run great. They qualified second and advanced to a second straight final round before losing traction in the final round and falling to Doug Kalitta. It’s fun to see those two teams race and the rivalry of the “Tool Wars.” It should be entertaining to follow the 2014 version of the tool wars and we’re glad we have Matco and Antron on our side.
Don will keep his competitive juices flowing this weekend. He’ll be fishing in a Blue Marlin tournament in the Dominican Republic. Don being Don, he will want to win. It’s amazing how he’s always on the go and wants to be the best and win at everything. I admire his drive and could only wish to have his motor.
Thousands of miles away, both Jack and Ron Capps will be taking part in the annual Tour de Charity at Sonoma Raceway. It’s a charity karting event at one of our favorite tracks and both Ron and Jack loving turning left and right at the karting track at Sonoma. Good luck guys!
I’m heading home to Chicago this weekend for Mike O’Guin and Marla Weidenaar’s wedding. Mike works on the Matco Tools dragster and Marla on the Valvoline Funny Car, so it’s an NHRA match made in heaven. It’s like our version of The Bachelor and we’re very excited for their special day.
If you’re coming to Las Vegas next weekend, try to stay where we stay at the New York-New York. The annual NHRA Fan Fest will take place on the Brooklyn Bridge in front of the NYNY Hotel & Casino from 5-7 p.m. and all seven DSR drivers will be there. Please stop by and say hello.
Thanks for reading and have a great week. We’ll blog again after Las Vegas.