Don Schumacher to join Tony Stewart, Dario Franchitti, others in Motorsports Hall

Photos: Richard Shute/Auto Imagery

Don Schumacher has built the most successful organization in NHRA drag racing history, a seven-team behemoth that has earned 334 national event wins and 17 national championships in either Top Fuel or Funny Car.

Now, the man who is the figurehead for the organization but humbly likes to stay in the shadows while letting the success of his drivers and teams do his talking for him, will take his well-deserved place among the greatest names of motorsports.

Schumacher, 74, will be one of seven individuals inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on Tuesday, March 12, at The Shores Resort in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, just a quick burnout from Daytona International Speedway.

Joining Schumacher will be NASCAR legend Tony Stewart, IndyCar great Dario Franchitti, motorsports pioneer Augie Duesenberg, motorcyclist Kevin Schwantz, sports car ace Phil Remington and at-large selection Linda “Miss Hurst Shifter” Vaughn.

It is a very humbling experience,” Schumacher said of his pending induction. “This is not something that I ever imagined being a part of.

“To be inducted into America’s Motorsports Hall of Fame with the Andretti’s and Foyt’s and Earnhardt and Garlits, and John Force and Jeff Gordon and on and on, these are the heroes of motorsports, and for my name to somehow be included in that is really a humbling, overwhelming experience for me.”

Schumacher was one of the most successful drag racers of his era in the 1960s and into the 1970s before stepping away from the sport to build a worldwide electronics company that employs over 2,000. He stayed away from drag racing for nearly a quarter-century before getting back into the game in 1998 with the formation of Don Schumacher Racing.

The next 20-plus years has been historic, including his own son, Tony Schumacher, becoming the most successful driver in Top Fuel racing history with eight championships and over 80 national event wins.

“It is really an honor to be able to represent NHRA Drag Racing in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America,” Schumacher said. “It allows me to represent the sport that I love and have been involved in for decades.

“I respect the sport and what it has accomplished for America, but also for my family. It’s a very, very rewarding experience to be able to be out there and represent NHRA Drag Racing.”

Funny car driver and former NHRA champion Ron Capps, who has the second-longest tenure among all DSR drivers, calls his boss’s induction “fantastic.”

“Being able to work for him and drive for him since 2005, I can tell you that he attacks his team ownership like he did as a racer,” Capps said of Schumacher. “If you look back at his driving career in the late 1960s and early 70s, he was an innovator.

“He was one of the first to have a multi-car team. He was one of the first to bring large corporate sponsors to drag racing and the championships he has as a team owner for Don Schumacher Racing tells you that he wakes up in the morning and still has that passion like he did when he was in the cockpit.”

Schumacher will be presented for induction by one of his drivers, Funny Car pilot “Fast Jack” Beckman, who has the third-longest tenure with DSR behind Tony Schumacher and Capps.

“I was beyond honored for my boss, and one of the baddest drivers in the country the first year I attended a drag race, to ask me to induct him,” Beckman said of Schumacher. “Of all the high level friends and fellow racing legends that he could have asked, I’m really not sure why he picked me. My tux is packed, I’ll work on a short speech, and I can’t wait to bring Don up on stage to make it official!”

Don Schumacher secured Funny Car victory No. 150 as a team owner two weeks ago at Phoenix, Arizona, when Matt Hagan captured the win. Schumacher will be looking for another win or two in Top Fuel and Funny Car later in the same week as his induction with the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, March 15-17.

The key to success to accomplish this is the hard work of my teams on all aspects,” Schumacher said. “From the guys that change the oil to the guys that do the bottom end, to the crew chiefs, to the drivers, to my management team; the people at the machine shop and the fab shop in Brownsburg (Indiana), everybody plays a part and works so hard and does such a phenomenal job.

“The fact that we have accomplished this is beyond belief for me. I got into the sport of NHRA Drag Racing back in the early 1960s. I never imagined winning any event, no less 334 events and multiple championships. It’s an overwhelming accomplishment that my people have accomplished for me and I’m the one being honored (referring to the HOF induction), but I have to tip my hat to all of my Don Schumacher Racing and Don Schumacher Motorsports employees.”

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Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead


With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.

In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list