MOTORSPORT NEWS OTHER MOTORSPORT

NHRA Top Fuel King Tony Schumacher Returning to Racing

The Indianapolis events will mark the first races for Schumacher since the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona, California, in November 2018, where he finished runner-up to Steve Torrence. Schumacher also finished runner-up to Torrence in the 2018 NHRA Top Fuel Championship.

Schumacher lost his U.S. Army sponsorship following the 2018 season, and he’s been on the sidelines ever since.

In the upcoming Indianapolis weekends, Schumacher, 50, will race DSR teammate Antron Brown’s backup car, with crew chief Brian Corradi calling the shots for both cars. Brown, who announced his partnership with Global Electronic Technology ahead of the 2020 season, was instrumental in bringing together Schumacher and the sponsorship. Brown and Schumacher have a combined 11 championships and 134 wins.

“I’ve always been the ‘Army guy,’” said Schumacher, referring to his impressive run of nearly two decades representing the U.S. Army, which spanned from 2000 to 2018 and remains one of the longest-running partnerships in motorsports history. “It was an absolute privilege to represent them for so many years, but I’m not that guy anymore, and it’ll be exciting to be the face of a different brand, Global Electronic Technology, when I return to Indy next month. A huge thank you goes out to (sponsors) Steve and Samantha Bryson for allowing me this incredible opportunity to get back out there.”

“I’ve never wanted to come back halfway. If I’m going to do it, I want to do it right and have a real, legitimate shot to win the race. I want to be in a competitive car, and I also don’t want to race in anything but a canopy car,” Schumacher said, referring to the DSR-developed enclosed cockpit canopy that serves as a safety mechanism on all DSR Top Fuelers and has since been adopted by several other NHRA teams.

“I also would never want to hire people only to release them in two weeks. We have so many extremely talented people at DSR, several of whom have gone on to create careers for themselves in our machine and fab shops, and at Don Schumacher Motorsports. Those are the guys that will be working on my car these two weeks. They know how to be safe, and they know how to win, and then you have Brian Corradi, who has won championship after championship. That’s how I know that even though this is just two races, we will still be competitive, and we will do it right.

Schumacher and the Global Electronic Technology team plan to make two test runs at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday, July 10, before they begin qualifying on Saturday for Sunday’s elimination show, airing on Fox. Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET on July 11, with final eliminations scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on July 12.