Features

An exciting weekend aheadTuesday, September 30, 2014
Posted by: Megan Schumacher, Don Schumacher Racing

Greetings NHRA.com blog readers! We are nearing the end of our fall four-race swing and overall it has been quite a month for the DSR group.

With the exception of the U.S. Nationals in Indy, we have earned at least one title at every event this month. With Tony and Matt getting the Charlotte event wins, Tony getting the win in Dallas and Antron scoring the victory in St. Louis last weekend, things are looking pretty strong in our camp and it couldn’t come at better time with the Countdown to the Championship in full swing.

I don’t know what it is about St. Louis but that Matco Tools team has won there four out of the last five times we’ve raced there. That’s pretty impressive. Antron says he thinks that he was born in St. Louis but his mom just forgot to tell him.

I’m always excited to get to St. Louis to see some of my family who join us out at the races. I have two adorable little cousins that support DSR in their mini polo’s that just make us all melt from the cuteness. It’s nice to get in a little family time while at the races.

Now that it is October, I can tell you about some special things we have going on this month for breast cancer awareness month. We will have two pink cars when we head to Maple Grove Raceway this weekend.

Most of you may remember that the past few years Antron and the Matco Tools team have gone pink and they will do that again this year with the Matco Tools “Tools for the Cause” campaign. But Jack Beckman’s Funny Car will also be pink with the Matco Tools black and pink colors on board this weekend supporting Susan G. Komen.

Matco is running a special promotion called #IDriveFor and Antron’s dragster and Jack’s Funny Car are covered with names of more than 1,000 individuals who have fought breast cancer.

Join us on social media this month and tell us who you drive for by tweeting @matcotools and @shoeracing with the hashtag #IDriveFor. The Matco Tools for the Cause program has raised more than $425,000 for Susan G. Komen. Also, when Matco customers purchase limited edition pink tools, Matco donates 15 percent of the sale to Komen with a guaranteed minimum donation of $100,000.

It is an amazing program that everyone at DSR is proud to be a part of. We can’t wait to see the cars hit the track this weekend at Maple Grove.

Spencer Massey will also have a different look this weekend as he is running the Odyssey Battery dragster. Their headquarters are just down the road from Maple Grove so we will have a lot of their employees out this weekend to cheer on DSR and Spencer’s team.

I think everyone is anxious to get to Maple Grove this weekend. It has a history of being fast and producing record runs and I think all of our crew chiefs will be itching to hit the track.

After these four consecutive races we take a three week break before heading out west to Las Vegas and then Pomona for the big finale. We’ll all be taking a deep breath and getting rested and recharged for those final two races. It’s crazy to think that our season is almost over. It has been a fun year already and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

That’s all of the exciting news I have to share with you for now. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @MeganFessSchu while we are at the races this weekend for a behind the scenes look!

I’ll be back next week!
 

A double-up in DallasTuesday, September 23, 2014
Posted by: Megan Schumacher, Don Schumacher Racing

Greetings NHRA.com blog readers! What a weekend at the Texas Motorplex! As I'm sure most of you know DSR came away with three of four possible wins in the nitro categories.

To say it was a successful weekend would be an understatement. I'm so proud of all of our DSR drivers and crew members because it was not an easy task.

We finished up the Charlotte race on Saturday in Dallas. The conditions were HOT. But our teams responded well to those conditions. We finally got our partners at Rocky Boots a win in the delayed Carolina Nationals on Saturday. Matt and the entire team had been working so hard to get them a win and it finally worked out. It was fun to see that Matt's Charlotte mojo followed him to Texas.

It was a weekend of milestones for my brother Tony and the U.S. Army team led by crew chief Mike Green and assistant Neal Strasbaugh. On Saturday, Tony scored his 75th career win in Top Fuel. Tony and his family recently moved to Austin, so it was awesome that they got to participate in that.

I think all eyes were on Tony and the Army team all weekend and especially on Sunday. They were on a roll all weekend and that didn't change on race day. They turned on the win light eight times in 24 hours and came away with the Motorplex win on Sunday. Tony was excited to get fitted for a custom cowboy hat in the Winner’s Circle. Since he is a Texan now, he’ll be needing that hat! For our Funny Cars, TJ led the DSR group into the semifinals on Sunday but wasn’t able to get that next round win for a spot in the final round.

We have only "doubled-up" one other time this season so it was very exciting for all of us and I got to share it with some of my closest friends who joined us on Sunday for all of the fun.

I think one of my favorite parts of the weekend was playing Mrs. Claus and handing out Red Fuel chargers to all of our team members over the weekend. It’s great for our guys on the road to be able to charge their phones or tablets while cruising to the next race. Don and I wanted to give the guys those as a token of appreciation for all of their hard work this season. To learn more about RedFuel check out redfuelpower.com.

For the crew members, the weekend at the Motorplex had to be one of the toughest ones this season. It was hot, it was humid and did I mention it was hot?? They truly make their jobs look easy and do it with a smile on their faces even when it gets tough like it was over the weekend. I’m so proud of them!

We headed back to Chicago on Sunday night and I got to enjoy a Cubs game with some of the folks from Schumacher Electric on Monday evening. Those pesky St. Louis Cardinals got the win over the Cubs but it was still a fun time for all of us.

Speaking of St. Louis, that’s where we are headed this weekend for our third consecutive event. It’s crazy how fast this season has gone and here we are with just four races left and teams fighting for championships.

The competition is so tight, I just get more anxious every weekend to see how it will all play out. We will put more of the puzzle pieces together after this Sunday.

That’s all I have for now. We will see you in St. Louis this weekend!


 

Dallas Double-HeaderTuesday, September 16, 2014
Posted by: Megan Schumacher, Don Schumacher Racing

Hello everyone! It’s Tuesday before Dallas and we have some recapping to do!

It was a tough weekend all around in Charlotte. It was hot and humid all throughout qualifying and that makes things difficult for the crew guys, the crew chiefs and the cars. When race day rolled around, it was a totally different ballgame with cool weather and overcast skies.

The Dallas event is now a double-header after NHRA officials were forced to postpone the Charlotte eliminations to this Saturday at the Texas Motorplex. They say everything is bigger in Texas and that is truly the case this weekend.

Spencer Massey, Tony Schumacher, Matt Hagan and Ron Capps will all compete in Charlotte eliminations starting during third session of qualifying on Saturday in Dallas. We’ll be looking for lots of extra win lights on Saturday and Sunday at Texas Motorplex.

Spencer Massey debuted the new Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster in Charlotte and won best appearing car in Charlotte last weekend. Red Fuel is a new line of products from Schumacher Electric that we are all really excited about. Basically they are portable chargers for your phones and tablets. Check out www.redfuelpower.com for more information.

Staying with the paint scheme theme, Matt Hagan’s Funny Car will have a new look this weekend when the matte-black Freightliner Funny Car hits the track in Texas. It’s trucker appreciation week and Matt’s Funny Car will have more than 100 names of trucker men and women on his car to salute them for their hard work. We love having the great folks from Freightliner at the track with us too. We rely on Freightliner to get our teams and our race cars to each and every race on the NHRA Mello Yello circuit so it’s really fun to show them some love on track as well.

Jack Beckman will be back in the Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car this weekend in Dallas and will continue to raise funds and awareness for such a great cause. It’s a big week for the Infinite Hero Foundation with some conferences going on in California about the new technology that can help wounded soldiers. We’ll all be ready to hear about it this weekend when Laurie Baker, the director of Infinite Hero joins us.

I’m spending this week trying to catch up with some work but also trying to get some rest. The cold bug has hit me and is trying to knock me off my feet but I’ll be all ready when racing begins this weekend in Dallas.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned!


 

Another U.S. Nationals in the booksWednesday, September 03, 2014
Posted by: Megan Schumacher, Don Schumacher Racing

Hello NHRA.com blog readers! It’s hard to believe that NHRA’s “regular season” has concluded and we kick off our Countdown to the Championship next week in Charlotte.

But before we get ahead of ourselves and talk about the Countdown, we have a lot of happenings to discuss from the 60th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals. It was a whirlwind week!

On Wednesday, I flew out to California for a very special meeting at Oakley headquarters. As you all know, DSR is a supporter of the Infinite Hero Foundation and I’m excited to let you all know that I’m now a part of the Grant Committee chosen by the Infinite Hero Foundation. They chose eight individuals to decide how to best spend the funds that the foundation raises.

I’m truly honored to be able to watch Jack Beckman spread the awareness here in the NHRA community, but to be able to help decide what to do with the funds that have been raised is indescribable. I also want to say a big thank you to all of the NHRA fans out there that have helped raise funds this year.

While I was out in California, my DSR counterparts where busy, busy, busy in Indy. All of the DSR drivers were downtown at Monument Circle for the NHRA press conference, the Traxxas Shootout lottery drawing and an autograph session for the fans. Neither Fast Jack Beckman nor Matt Hagan won the lottery, but a big thanks to all the fans who voted for them.

After that, the drivers, Don and Terry Chandler headed right up the road to Riley Hospital for Children. Every year we take a couple of hours out of our busy schedules to stop in at Riley and spread smiles. This year was even more special because Terry donated Children’s Dream Racers. The miniature car was built by Mark “Smitty” Smith to look like the full-size #RileyDreamRacer Funny Car that TJ drove during the U.S. Nationals. The car was built by Smitty and his team, who share a goal of helping to ease the pain and misery of kids in hospital and cancer care centers. The Dream Racer car has a television and video game system with steering wheel and pedals, and it also has a place for an oxygen tank and IV pole.

Thursday was a catch-up day for the drivers and DSR employees before our big 9th annual Open House that benefits Riley. Each year it seems that the open house grows bigger and better and this year was no exception. I am happy to share with you all that we raised a record $42,058 for Riley and over the last nine years we have raised more than $280,000.

We had Riley kid A.J. Stinger serve as the honorary crew chief for TJ and we surprised him by giving him the opportunity to warm up Paul Schavrien’s Poacher’s nostalgia dragster. We had a bunch of nostalgia cars for the cacklefest but we let AJ start up last and towards the end he was the only car still cackling and they let him whack the throttle more than a few times. I haven’t seen a bigger smile than what he had when he took off his mask. We kept AJ busy all weekend and we appreciate everything he does for Riley and DSR.

Saturday at the drags was a big day for DSR. It started out by watching U.S. Army dragster crew chief Mike Green’s daughter, Lexi, sing the National Anthem before the Traxxas Top Fuel Shootout. Mike was in the first pair and I know how special it was for him to listen to his daughter sing while he was waiting to run. He is a proud papa, for sure.

Things only got better for the Army team after that as they went on to win the $100,000 dollar Shootout. DSR has won a Shootout title in each of the past three years with Spencer Massey winning the inaugural event in 2012 and we all remember Jack Beckman’s win in spectacular (exploding) fashion last year.

Minutes later we watched Ron Capps take out John Force in the rain-delayed Brainerd final. Cappsie was VERY excited to win one for all the Brainerd fans and it was his 43rd career win.

Race day wasn’t as successful for the DSR team as we came away empty-handed. Sarge winning his 10th Indy event and Ron going after his first will have to wait until next year…

Now, our focus shifts to the Countdown. Six races to battle it out for the championships. All of the teams were back in the shop today getting ready for Charlotte. We have Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis and Reading all in a row and it will go by in a flash!

We are going to take this weekend off to regroup and be ready for it all.

Before I go, I have to say a special Happy Birthday to my mom, Sarah. I don’t know what I would do without her and we will be celebrating her all week, not just today! Head over to my Facebook page (Facebook.com/MeganFesselSchumacher) and leave her a birthday note and I’ll show her!

Take a deep breath this weekend, NHRA fans. You’ll need all the energy you have to keep up with us on the four-in-a-row!

Take care and we’ll check in soon!
 

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