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!
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!
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!
Greetings NHRA.com blog readers! What a weekend in Brainerd. Friday and Saturday it was warm and sunny and everything changed on Sunday morning. It was wet, it was cold, and did I mention that it was wet? We lost count of the all the rain delays but I think it was more than five. I didn’t venture out in the Zoo, but I did hear some stories from Ron Capps who judges the best “zoo vehicles”. The fans in Brainerd are truly one of a kind and we love our annual visit there.
The fans that stuck around on Sunday were treated to an awesome show with some impressive numbers and close drag races. Unfortunately we came up short in those close drag races. The race between Ron Capps and Jack Beckman was incredible. Ron got by Jack by inches. That’s how drag racing goes sometimes. The race between Matt Hagan and Alexis DeJoria was also incredible. NHRA definitely has some additions to this year’s highlight reel.
NHRA officials did everything in their power to get the event in but Mother Nature just wasn’t cooperative so we are going to have to wait until Aug. 30 to see the Brainerd Funny Car final between Ron Capps and John Force during qualifying at the U.S. Nationals.
That NAPA Know How team definitely knows a thing or two about Brainerd as it was Ron’s fourth straight final round appearance at the Minnesota track. Ron’s crew chief, Rahn Tobler, was impressive on Sunday and we hope that continues when they do get to run the final in Indy.
Now that Brainerd is (almost!) in the books, the focus shifts one of the busiest times of the year for all of us at DSR. The Indy Mini Marathon is actually held in May, but for us drag racers, it’s in August. Our teams traveled back to DSR headquarters in Brownsburg and most will test on Wednesday and Thursday out at Lucas Oil Raceway.
On Tuesday Aug. 19, most of the DSR drivers along with several other NHRA drivers will be at the Brownsburg Town Hall for the first ever “Big Go Block Party”. From 6-9 p.m. there will be live music, autographs, a dunk tank and an autograph session (7-8 p.m.) along with the DSR sponsored Kids Zone for the little ones. We’re looking forward to this special event to really kick things off in Indy. If you’re in the area, you should definitely stop by to check it all out!
If you haven’t already voted for either “Fast Jack” Beckman or Matt Hagan in the Traxxas Shootout, please do so! You can vote at www.facebook.com/NHRA. Jack won the Traxxas Shootout last year in spectacular fashion and we definitely want to add another Traxxas Shootout trophy to our collection in the lobby in Brownsburg.
That brings me to where you all have a chance to visit our shop. We just announced details for our 9th annual DSR Open House on Aug. 29th to once again benefit Riley Children’s Hospital Indiana University Health and Camp Riley. It’s from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will feature a giant car and bike show, entertainment and appearances by each of DSR’s seven drivers and Don.
The silent auction will also be online, so those of you that can’t be there in person can still be a part of it and help out Riley. Last year we had more than 4,000 fans tour our shop and we boosted our contributions to Riley past the $240,000 mark. We couldn’t have done it without all of the giving NHRA fans so we really appreciate your help in raising funds and awareness for the Riley Kids. For more information on the Open House check out: http://www.shoeracing.com/news/dsr-open-house-on-aug-29-kicks-off-u-s-nationals-with-riley-funny-car-art-show-giant-cacklefest-at-9th-annual-event.
We just got in a few brand new die casts that look so awesome! Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car, Matt Hagan’s 50th Anniversary HEMI Tribute Mopar Funny Car and Don’s 70’s Cuda car. Check them out at http://store.shoeracingstore.com/ and our staff at the shop will get you set up!
That’s all the news and notes that I have for now. It’s time to take a deep breath before the craziness begins. We’ll let you know how Indy test goes and check in with you next week before the Big Go!
Thanks for reading!