Hello NHRA.com friends! It’s Wednesday after an amazing weekend in Reading, Pa., that I am so excited to talk to you all about.
By watching the weather forecast for a week or so before the event, we all knew what we were getting into at Maple Grove Raceway and our crew chiefs couldn’t wait to get on track to see how low they could go.
We had so much going on this weekend with two Matco Tools “Tools for the Cause” cars. The fan support over these cars is just absolutely amazing and Jack’s Funny Car even won Best Appearing Car. It was so awesome to have people come by the pits and check out the cars and look for their names or the names of someone that they know.
Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team led by crew chief Mike Green continued their dominance in the Countdown to the Championship by taking the No. 1 spot in the final qualifying session with a 3.735-second pass.
When we all woke up on Sunday morning, it was freezing! It was so cold that you could see your breath. We all knew that Sunday was going to be an interesting day; we just didn’t know how it would all work out.
It turned out to be a very good day for DSR.
Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. reached the final round, so we knew we were guaranteed a win. It was a crazy final round, TJ’s car lost traction, Matt’s car exploded in a fireball but he held on for the win and took over the points lead in Funny Car with just two races left. Rumor has it Matt’s explosive win made SportsCenter Top 10 plays, which is awesome!
Tony won his 77th career race, 700th round win and pushed DSR past JFR for the most wins as an organization with 238 event titles. The U.S. Army team now has a commanding lead over the rest of the dragster field but we have to remember that we have two races left and anything can happen.
Whoa, that’s a lot for us to digest! Good thing we have three weeks off to regroup and get rested up before we head out to Las Vegas and Pomona to close out our season.
Just because we have three weeks off doesn’t mean the work stops. The Matco Tools team has already been on two displays even before they went home. Antron and the team got to check out the Matco Tools toolbox plant in New York and then they stopped in Ohio so Antron could speak to Tech Ed students at Ohio Tech College.
Don, my mom and I went up to the “Big Apple” for a day of fun and relaxation on Monday after the race. I always love exploring different cities and we had a lot of fun and just enjoyed the day. We also enjoyed the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. If you’re ever in NYC, it is a must have. After a fun day in the city we headed down to Washington, D.C. for a special day.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Army team along with Don, my mom and I and a few DSR staff and NHRA officials were invited for a private tour of the Pentagon and visited Arlington National Cemetery. It was such an amazing honor and experience! I learned so much and really enjoyed seeing our nation’s capital.
Everyone else is back at the shop working away getting caught up from the last four races. We will be back in action before we know it and I’ll keep you updated on what’s going on at the shop and what we have going on in Las Vegas in my next blog!
Thanks for reading.
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!
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!