Don Schumacher Racing Teams Head to Florida for PRO Winter Warm-up with 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Season Starting Three Weeks Later

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Jan. 13, 2015) – Don Schumacher Racing will begin preparing to earn its next NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car world championships this week at Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Fla., during the biggest event of the pre-season and first opportunity of the year for fans to see the fastest race cars on earth.

DSR’s reigning NHRA world championship U.S. Army team with Tony Schumacher and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T with Matt Hagan will lead the seven-car DSR contingent to the warmth of Florida for private testing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before the fifth annual PRO Winter Warm-up spectator event on Friday and Saturday that lead to the Feb. 6-8 Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., that will open the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

The U.S. Army unit led by crew chief Mike Green won the team’s eighth Top Fuel title last year while the Mopar/Rocky team led by Dickie Venables earned its second Funny Car championship in four years.

The PBIR event also will be the racing public’s first opportunity to see DSR’s all-new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car body in action, and the debut of former Funny Car world champion crew chief Jimmy Prock and assistant John Medlen leading the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge driven by 2012 world champion Jack Beckman.

In 2014, DSR won 14 Top Fuel and seven Funny Car event titles to increase DSR’s total to 240 including 235 since 1999. The double-up world championships increased DSR’s total to 13 and marked the third time it ended a Mello Yello season with both nitro championships; Antron Brown and Jack Beckman won in 2012 and Schumacher and Gary Scelzi won in 2005.

The four days in Florida provide the last opportunity to get ready to open the Mello Yello season three weeks later.

“The difference between testing and practicing is you don’t make many changes when your practicing,” said Todd Okuhara, DSR’s director of racing and co-crew chief on Spencer Massey’s Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher Top Fuel Dragster.

“We want to go there and try some new things and see if we want to implement them during the season. It also is a chance for our crews to knock some of the rust off from the last couple months and give our new crew guys time adjust to their new teams under racing conditions.”

PRO Winter Warm-up event information can be found at RacePBIR.com or (561) 622-1400.

For race updates, follow DSR on Twitter at @shoeracing, Facebook.com/shoeracing and at ShoeRacing.com.

The following are DSR team notes heading to the Warm-up:
TOP FUEL

TONY SCHUMACHER, U.S. Army
The Army team returns intact after its championship season when it won five Mello Yello event titles including three of six in the Countdown to the Championship playoff. The team’s two race-car transporters and sleek dragsters will feature a unique color scheme entering its 16h season with the U.S. Army onboard.
         Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 1st      24         5       1        5      6       7        4        0        39-19
CAREER    408       77     54       64   107   98      76       8      703-325
Best Time, Speed: 3.735 sec. (10-5-14, Reading, Pa.); 330.55 mph (11-1-14, Las Vegas 2)

SPENCER MASSEY, Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher
Spencer returns for his fifth season with DSR and crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler. Like the Army team, the Red Fuel dragster will sport an eye-catching design by DSR graphic artist Aaron Holland. The team finished strong last year for third in the Mello Yello standings with three event titles.
          Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014  3rd     24         3        0       3     11      7         0       0        28-21
CAREER    119        17      14     27    29     30        7      2      190-100
Best Time, Speed: 3.728 sec. (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 332.18 mph

ANTRON BROWN, Matco Tools
The Matco team is intent on matching its performance over last year’s 18-event regular season when it dominated by winning five event titles, but crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald want to improve in the Countdown where Antron visited the winner’s circle once.
         Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 7th      24         6       2       5       2      9        3         0      41-18
CAREER     310      47     40      63     84    73      37       3     517-260
Best Time, Speed: 3.701*/** sec. (10- 8-12, Reading, Pa.); 328.78 mph (10-8-12, Reading)
* Quickest ever/** NHRA record

FUNNY CAR
MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
The Mopar/Rocky team along with DSR’s three other Funny Cars will feature the all-new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car body.
Matt, who won four times last year including a last round win over John Force in the finale to cap his championship season. Crew chief Dickie Venables and the team made the run heard throughout NHRA race team shops on December 8 while testing at Palm Beach when they recorded the quickest Funny Car run ever with a time of 3.954 seconds at 323.97 mph.
         Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 1st      24         4       2       5      6       6         1        0        39-20
CAREER    144       14     16     20    42     45       16       4      189-126
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (7-26-2013, Sonoma, Calif.); 322.27 mph (9-17-11, Charlotte 2)

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Make-A-Wish 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Tommy will start the 24th season of his professional career coming off his best season when he won one of his 10 NHRA Mello Yello titles and finished third in the final standings with crew chief John Collins. For the second season, his Dodge team is funded by Terry Chandler who donates branding space on the car to Make-A-Wish, which does not contribute any money to the effort.

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 3rd     24         1        2       5     11      5         1       0      31-23
CAREER    346      10      15      45    80    152      10     47   255-292
Best Time, Speed: 3.999 sec. (2014, Joliet, Ill.); 322.73 mph (2014, Pomona 1)

RON CAPPS, NAPA AUTO PARTS 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Ron returns for his 21st season as a professional racer, 11th with DSR and eighth with NAPA AUTO PARTS as the team’s sponsor. Rahn Tobler returns as crew chief and intends to improve on the past season when the NAPA team won two event titles. The team finished eighth in points but was only 67 points out of third place.
         Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 7th      24        2        1       9      5       8         1        0      32-22
CAREER     435     43       42     77    88   168       16     18     538-374
Best Time, Speed: 3.964 sec., (5-31-12, Englishtown, N.J.); 320.89 mph (5-31-12, Englishtown)

JACK BECKMAN, Infinite Hero Foundation 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Jack begins the year with an all-new crew led by former world champion crew chief Jimmy Prock and assistant John Medlen, one of the most respected people in the NHRA pits. Most members of Prock’s last crew followed him to DSR at the end of the past season.
For the first time in several years, Jack, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant, starts the season knowing his team is funded for the entire season thanks to Chandler, who is funding the team to support the Infinite Hero Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing critical funding to programs that combat mental and physical injuries facing returning military heroes and their families.
          Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014  11th    24        0        1       2       7     14        0        0       14-24
CAREER     204      15       20    37     58     68      10       6      251-183
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (10-6-12, Reading, Pa.); 320.30 mph (4-15-12, Charlotte 1)

2014 NHRA MELLO YELLO CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
TOP FUEL                                                  FUNNY CAR
Driver (wins) points behind                        driver (wins)            points  behind
1. TONY SCHUMACHER (5) 2,594 —-     1. MATT HAGAN (4) 2,628 —-
2. JR Todd (1) 2,463                      -131    2. John Force (3) 2,585      -43
3. SPENCER MASSEY(3) 2,430 -164 3. TOMMY JOHNSON(1) 2,442 -186
4. Shawn Langdon (1) 2,419         -175   4. Courtney Force (4) 2,421 -207
5. Doug Kalitta (2) 2,407                -187   5. Robert Hight (5) 2,414 -214
6. Steve Torrence 2,406                 -188  6. Del Worsham (1) 2,393 -235
7. ANTRON BROWN (6) 2,405       -189  7. Alexis DeJoria (3) 2,382 -246
8. Khalid alBalooshi (2) 2,326         -268  8. RON CAPPS (2) 2,375 -253
9. Richie Crampton (2) 2,299          -295  9. Tim Wilkerson 2,310 -318
10. Brittany Force 2,249                  -345 10. Cruz Pedregon (1) 2,244 -384
11. JACK BECKMAN 1,097 —-

 

about author

Don Schumacher Racing

related articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *