Eight-time Top Fuel world champ Tony Schumacher will be inducted into Bristol Dragway’s Legends of Thunder Valley, the historic track’s official Hall of Fame, during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 9-11.
Six of Schumacher’s record 86 career Top Fuel victories have come at Bristol Dragway. Schumacher will return to Bristol this year as the driver of JCM Racing’s Scag Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster, and he’s looking to add more wins to his stats at one of his favorite tracks on the circuit.
Schumacher, 53, is the 20th inductee in the prestigious Legends of Thunder Valley and joins his father, 2014 honoree Don Schumacher, in the exclusive club. Schumacher is also only the second member to be inducted while he is still an active racer, joining 2016 inductee John Force, who continues to compete in the NHRA Funny Car category.
Schumacher, a Chicago native who currently resides in Austin, Texas, dominated NHRA’s Top Fuel category in the 2000s. He won six consecutive world championship titles from 2004-2009. His incredible 2008 season, where he was named Driver of the Year, was perhaps his best ever, where he won 15 races in 18 final rounds and posted 9 No. 1 qualifying awards and never lost a first-round pairing that season.
Schumacher also claimed NHRA Top Fuel world championship titles in 1999, driving the Exide Batteries dragster to one victory in five final-round appearances, and in 2014, where he won five times in six final rounds.
Schumacher has an amazing love affair with the sport’s most prestigious race, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He has won that race 10 times during his career, a record for all NHRA Professional categories.
He also had a similar affection for beautiful Thunder Valley, where he reached eight final rounds and was able to cash in on six of them, including wins in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2018. He posted runner-up finishes at Bristol in 2001 and 2016. He claimed three consecutive Bristol Dragway wins from his epic 2008 season through 2010. He also claimed four No. 1 qualifying positions in Bristol, in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Qualifying for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begins Friday, June 9, with a pair of Pro sessions, the first at 4 p.m. and the second under the lights at 7 p.m. The final two rounds of qualifying are set for Saturday, June 10, at 1 and 4:30 p.m. and will include the new bonus program Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. Final eliminations are scheduled for noon on Sunday, June 11.
To purchase your reserved seats, call Bristol Dragway at (866) 415-4158. Tickets also are available online by visiting the BMS website.
LEGENDS OF THUNDER VALLEY
2023 – Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, Top Fuel
2022 – Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Funny Car/Top Fuel
2021 – Scotty Cannon, Pro Mod / Funny Car
2019 – Ted Jones, promoter / drag racing visionary
2018 – Mark Oswald, Funny Car / Top Fuel
2017 – Doug Herbert, Top Fuel
2016 – John Force, Funny Car
2015 – Carl Moore, Bristol Dragway founder and Connie Kalitta, NHRA pioneer
2014 – Don Schumacher, NHRA team owner / Funny Car
2013 – Warren Johnson, Pro Stock
2012 – Gene Fulton, Engine Builder
2011 – Jeff Byrd, Bristol President and GM / RJ Reynolds marketing
2010 – Shirl Greer, Funny Car
2009 – Dale Pulde, Funny Car
2008 – Ronnie Sox & Buddy Martin, Pro Stock
2007 – Bruton Smith, Speedway Motorsports / Bristol Dragway owner
Wally Parks, NHRA founder
Don Garlits, Top Fuel
Larry Carrier, Bristol Dragway founder
Rickie Smith, Pro Stock / Pro Mod