Don Schumacher Racing continues to help others through ‘giving car’ program

Jack Beckman and Chandler family representative, Judy Pittman, present a $100,000 donation check to MD Anderson Cancer Center, on behalf of Doug Chandler and his TLC Foundation, during the 2019 Houston race. Photo courtesy of Don Schumacher Racing.

Professional auto racing is by no means an inexpensive sport, and that includes drag racing. 

Many of the teams competing in the NHRA’s highest level would be unable to continue without the assistance of corporate sponsorships, as companies both large and small provide the necessary funds needed to compete in exchange for branding on the team’s cars and equipment. 

Don Schumacher Racing is no different, with the successful team attracting many high-profile sponsors such as NAPA Auto Parts, Pennzoil, and Mopar, among others. 

But what separates DSR from any other organization in motorsports is the fact that two of their Funny Car entries in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series sport the branding of charitable organizations.

Once again in 2020, Jack Beckman’s Funny Car will represent the Infinite Hero Foundation, while The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center branding will be on Tommy Johnson Jr.’s car. Johnson’s car previously carried Make-A-Wish Foundation branding for the previous six seasons.

Both cars are funded through DSR’s unique ‘giving car’ program, which enables a non-profit to be recognized through a dedicated tribute livery at no cost to the charitable organization. 

The giving car program was started in 2014 by the late Terry Chandler, a New Mexico philanthropist and drag racing fan.

The sister of former DSR driver Johnny Gray and aunt of 2018 NHRA Pro Stock champ Tanner Gray (now working his way up the ladder in NASCAR), Terry Chandler took a great interest in drag racing. When her brother retired in 2013, Chandler decided to continue her involvement within the sport by sponsoring one of the team’s Funny Car entries.

However, if Chandler was going to sponsor a car, she wanted to use the opportunity to draw attention to causes that were important to her. Instead of using the sponsorship opportunity for personal gain, Chandler’s focus was to help others.

Terry Chandler and Tommy Johnson Jr. Photo courtesy of Don Schumacher Racing.

“She didn’t want it to be about a business,” said Chandler family representative Judy Pittman. “That really was her nature. She said ‘I want it to be about somebody else.'”

Thus, in 2014, the Funny Car previously driven by Gray was taken over by Johnson Jr. and began carrying the Make-A-Wish Foundation branding.

One year later, the opportunity arose for Chandler to support another car, which brought on the Infinite Hero branding to Beckman’s entry. Infinite Hero is a non-profit that assists wounded military veterans and their families.  

Through these sponsorship opportunities, Chandler and DSR were able to bring greater exposure to both organizations, as well as to put smiles on the faces of children, veterans, and their families.

“When something happens to one member of a family, regardless of if that is cancer or a helicopter crash while serving in Iraq, it affects the entire family, and I think that’s sometimes something that often gets lost,” said DSR Vice President Megan Fessel-Schumacher. “It’s not just affecting the one person it’s actually happening to. Every single member of the family is impacted.

“One thing Don and I always try to instill in everyone is that we are a big family out here, and we’re lucky that Infinite Hero, Make-A-Wish and MD Anderson are now other branches of the DSR family.”

Chandler’s support of the giving car program and positive outlook made her a beloved member of the NHRA community. In 2015, she was presented the NHRA Blaine Johnson Award for her dedication to helping others. 

“Terry became very popular at the track by accident,” said Pittman. “People started knowing who she was because she was such a positive influence. Everybody she raced against she would greet and say ‘I hope you do well.’ She was so positive that people would come from all over to get her autograph. She kind of became the queen of the racetrack. People loved her.”

As she continued to grow in popularity with both competitors and fans alike, Chandler continued to use her role to put smiles on the faces of those she sought to help.

“She would tell children that came through Make-A-Wish ‘this is your car. This isn’t my car. This car is about you,'” Pittman said “She wanted the children with their families for one day to be able to forget about what their illness was.

“She (also) had a tremendous love for veterans. If we were at the starting line and she saw military guests there, she would grab them and pull them up so they could get to see the car. She was an amazing person.”

Chandler passed away after losing a battle with brain cancer in 2017, but her spirit continues to live on thanks in part to her husband Doug Chandler, who through Pittman, has continued to support the giving car program.

With over 500 Wish kids and their families at the track, four Wishes granted, and countless memories made, Doug Chandler made the decision to “spread the giving car love” by fielding an MD Anderson car full-time in 2020 with Johnson at the wheel. 

Jack Beckman piloted the MD Anderson Dodge during the 2019 NHRA SpringNationals last April near Houston. Photo courtsey of Don Schumacher Racing.

“It really warms my heart to be involved with MD Anderson, the giving car, and what Doug Chandler is doing for the future treatment of cancer,” said Don Schumacher. “It is a disease that is being fought very strongly, and MD Anderson is one of the leading facilities in new treatments of cancer, trials, studies and ways to battle this disease today and in the future.”

MD Anderson previously was featured Beckman’s Funny Car in the 2019 Houston event, and the organization has a special place in the hearts of both the Chandler and Schumacher families.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Chandler sought treatment at MD Anderson before ultimately succumbing to the disease, and Schumacher elected to receive treatment provided by the institution when he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2014. 

“I had spent a lot of time at MD Anderson when Don was going through treatment. It’s just an absolutely incredible facility,” said Fessel-Schumacher. “What they do is just absolutely amazing.

“I think for us, to be able to raise awareness of what these causes actually do is the most rewarding part. We’re really thankful that with these cars and with the Chandlers, we can kind of stand together and say ‘Hey, these are some of the incredible programs out there that need our help to continue helping all of these people.’”

Fans can support Chandler and DSR’s initiative by visiting and using the DSRFC solicitation code when making a donation.

Additionally, fans can find out more information about Infinite Hero by visiting their website at Fans can also receive autographed challenge coins carried by Jack Beckman on runs in 2020 by making a $100 donation to the foundation.

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IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix: How to watch, start times, TV, schedules, streaming

IndyCar Detroit start times
Ryan Garza/USA TODAY Sports Images Network

The NTT IndyCar Series will return to the Motor City for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix but with start times in a new location for 2023.

After a 30-year run on Belle Isle, the Detroit GP has moved a few miles south to the streets of downtown on a new nine-turn, 1.7-mile circuit that runs along the Detroit River.

It’s the first time single-seater open-cockpit cars have raced on the streets of Detroit since a CART event on a 2.5-mile downtown layout from 1989-91. Formula One also raced in Detroit from 1982-88.

The reimagined Detroit Grand Prix also will play host to nightly concerts and bring in venders from across the region. Roger Penske predicts the new downtown locale will be bigger for Detroit than when the city played host to the 2006 Super Bowl.

Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend (all times are ET):


TV: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe. Dave Burns, Marty Snider and Kevin Lee are the pit reporters. Click here for the full NBC Sports schedule for IndyCar in 2023.

Peacock also will be the streaming broadcast for both practices and qualifying.

POSTRACE SHOW ON PEACOCK: After the race’s conclusion, an exclusive postrace show will air on Peacock with driver interviews, postrace analysis and the podium presentation. To watch the extended postrace show, click over to the special stream on Peacock after Sunday’s race ends.


GREEN FLAG: 3:30 p.m. ET

PRACTICE: Friday, 3 p.m. (Peacock Premium); Saturday, 9:05 a.m. (Peacock Premium); Sunday, 10 a.m. (Peacock Premium)

QUALIFYING: Saturday, 1:20 p.m. (Peacock Premium)

RACE DISTANCE: The race is 100 laps (170 miles) on a nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course in downtown Detroit.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Rookie drivers are allowed one extra primary set for the first practice.

PUSH TO PASS: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation (Indy NXT: 150 seconds total, 15 seconds per). The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.

FORECAST: According to, it’s expected to be 80 degrees with a 0% chance of rain.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to view the 27 drivers racing Sunday at Detroit

INDY NXT RACES: Saturday, 12:05 p.m. 45 laps/55 minutes (Peacock Premium); Sunday, 12:50 p.m. 45 laps/55 minutes (Peacock Premium)

INDY NXT ENTRY LISTClick here to view the 19 drivers racing at Detroit


(All times are Eastern)

Friday, June 2

8:30-9:30 a.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

9:50-10:20 a.m.: Trans Am Series practice

11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

1-1:30 p.m.: Trans Am Series practice

1:50-2:40 p.m.: Indy NXT practice

3-4:30 p.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock

4:50-5:05 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

5:30-6 p.m.: IndyNXT qualifying (Race 1 and 2)

6-7:15 p.m.: A-Track concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Big Boi concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

Saturday, June 3

8:15-8:45 a.m.: Trans Am Series qualifying

9:05-10:05 a.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock

10:35-11:35 a.m.: Trans Am Series, 3-Dimensional Services Group Muscle Car Challenge

12:05-1:00 p.m.: Indy NXT, Race 1 (45 laps or 55 minutes), Peacock

1:15-2:45 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying, Peacock

4:10-5:50 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic (100 minutes), Peacock

5:30-7 p.m.: Z-Trip concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

7-8:30 p.m.: Steve Aoki concert (Hart Plaza Stage)

Sunday, June 4

10:00-10:30 a.m.: IndyCar warmup, Peacock

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Trans Am Series, 3-Dimensional Services Group Motor City Showdown

12:50-1:45 p.m.: Indy NXT, Race 2 (45 laps or 55 minutes), Peacock

2:47 p.m.: IndyCar driver introductions

3:23 p.m.: Command to start engines

3:30 p.m.: Green flag for the Chevrolet Detroit Prix, presented by Lear (100 laps/170 miles), NBC


ROUND 1Marcus Ericsson wins wild opener in St. Petersburg

ROUND 2Josef Newgarden wins Texas thriller over Pato O’Ward

ROUND 3: Kyle Kirkwood breaks through for first career IndyCar victory

ROUND 4: Scott McLaughlin outduels Romain Grosjean at Barber

ROUND 5: Alex Palou dominant in GMR Grand Prix

ROUND 6: Josef Newgarden wins first Indy 500 in 12th attempt 


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Gordon Johncock: The most unassuming Indy 500 legend

Alex Palou on his Indy 500 pole, multitasking at 224 mph and a Chip Ganassi surprise

Marcus Ericsson, engineer Brad Goldberg have ties that run very deep

New competition elements for 2023 include an alternate oval tire

Indy 500 will be Tony Kanaan’s final race

IndyCar drivers say Thermal Club could host a race

IndyCar team owners weigh in on marketing plans, double points

Alexander Rossi fitting in well at McLaren

Phoenix takes flight: Romain Grosjean enjoying the pilot’s life

Helio Castroneves says 2023 season is “huge” for IndyCar future

How Sting Ray Robb got that name

Kyle Larson having impact on future McLaren teammates

Simon Pagenaud on why he likes teasing former teammate Josef Newgarden

HOW TO WATCH INDYCAR IN 2023Full NBC Sports schedule