NHRA Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher proves once again that Chicago is his kinda town

Tony Schumacher makes it five wins in a row at his home track, Route 66 Raceway in suburban Chicago. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

JOLIET, Il. – When you’re in the boss’s own backyard, at his and your home track, and he’s also your father, well, you can’t help but rise to the occasion.

Such was the case for Tony Schumacher in Sunday’s Top Fuel final eliminations of the Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

The son of team owner Don Schumacher, Tony roared to his record 80th career win, defeating Larry Dixon, a three-time past Route 66 winner who reached the final round for the fifth time this season, but is still looking for his first win.

It was a track record fifth time that Tony Schumacher, a north suburban Chicago resident, has won at Route 66. The eight-time and defending Top Fuel champ is now 14-6 lifetime in final round meetings with Dixon.

“There’s no easy races,” Tony Schumacher said. “I’m just proud to be in the position we’re in. And when you get into that last round, tied with (teammate) Antron Brown in the points and you know if you win you’ll take the points lead, that’s a big moment.

“Our car, the U.S. Army car, has been the big moment car of the century. When it has to be done, we’ve done that. We’re good at it, we’re great at it.”

With the win, Tony Schumacher regains the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points lead over, taking a 20-point lead over Brown.

“The competition out here is closer than it’s ever been, and it relies more upon the driver than it ever has,” Don Schumacher said.

MORE: NHRA: Final finishing order, results, round-by-round and standings after Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals

Besides coming on home turf, Schumacher’s win was all the more special because it’s the 49th time since 2003 that Don Schumacher Racing has had two of its drivers win on the same day – as well as the third year in a row at Route 66.

Also on Sunday for DSR, Tommy Johnson Jr. earned his first Funny Car win of the season against another DSR teammate and defending Funny Car champ Matt Hagan.

“We’ve had great, great races here the last three years, undoubtedly,” Don Schumacher said. “My guys are doing a phenomenal job and they get to do this in front of family, friends employees and all the fans here in Chicago. It’s just phenomenal.”

Ironically, Tony Schumacher also figured in DSR’s first nitro sweep in 2003, winning in Top Fuel while former DSR teammate Whit Bazemore won in Funny Car.

“He’s the best,”Don Schumacher said of his son, the winningest driver in NHRA Top Fuel history. “The only guy that I’d have to say was better is (‘Big Daddy’) Don Garlits. (Tony’s) the best driver, the winningest driver, the most championships. How else can I look at it?”


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IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.