Who Is Don Schumacher?

Who Is Don Schumacher?
Photo courtesy of NHRS Media
Photo courtesy of NHRS Media

(Bristol, TN) Who is Mr. Don Schumacher? Many people know him as the owner of Antron Brown, Jack Beckman, Matt Hagen, Tommy Johnson Jr. and last but not least Tony Schumacher’s dad. But there is so much more to Mr. Don Schumacher.

He got his racing itch in the late 1960’s near Chicago IL. Schumacher learned to work on race cars in a garage behind his parent’s house. Back then he was ever so happy and never imagined that one day he would be a multi-car owner and have a 120,000 square foot shop to call his own.

As a racer and professional team owner in the mid-1960, Schumacher brought a business-like approach to drag racing years ahead of the other teams. In the era of his career as a racer most sponsorship programs traded hotel rooms, parts or food for the race teams putting their logos on the cars.

Photo: MSA Archive
Photo: MSA Archive

During the 70’s Schumacher best known as “The Shoe” set records on a regular basis, such as his run in 1974 of 6.18 seconds at 241.95 mph.

His retirement in 1974 surprised the drag racing circuit. Schumacher’s priorities shifted to his family, son – Tony (5 years old), daughter – Tara (1 year old) and another daughter on the way. His family business needed his full attention (Schumacher Electric.) Schumacher Electric is the world’s foremost manufacture of battery chargers, and employees about 2000 worldwide today.

As hard as he tried, racing was in his blood, in the mid – 1990’s, Schumacher was back in the racing scene, his son Tony was racing in the NHRA Sportsman car amateur events. After watching his son’s continued success at various levels, He re-entered the NHRA family as an owner and the Founder of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR).

Photo: Jen McVay, MSA
Photo: Jen McVay, MSA

In 2007 Don Schumacher was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Then May 2nd 2013 he added International Motorsports Hall of Fame to his resume. Schumacher learned 40 years ago winning is only part of the equation in achieving success in racing.

Don Schumacher Racing over the past seven years has raised more than $200,000 for the Riley Children’s Foundation through multiple outings over the Labor Day Weekend. Money raised goes to support Indiana’s only Comprehensive Children’s Hospital since 1924.

June 15th 2014 Father’s Day, came and NHRA presented Don Schumacher with a wonderful father’s day gift. His name was added to a list of the best drivers that Thunder Valley has ever seen. Don Schumacher’s name was added to the roof of Thunder Valley alongside greats such as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Congrats to Don Schumacher for his accomplishments and what he and his crew at DSR has brought to NHRA.

For more information about Don Schumacher and DSR Racing visit: www.shoeracing.com.

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