Maynard Family Takes Over Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Team

Don Schumacher, Tony Schumacher, Joe Maynard - PHOTO CREDIT: AUTO IMAGERY
Don Schumacher, Tony Schumacher, Joe Maynard – PHOTO CREDIT: AUTO IMAGERY

Remember when Don Schumacher had more cars (and motorcycles) in NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series than any other entrant? There have been as many as four each Top Fuel and Funny Car teams racing under the DSR banner.

That began to change when Schumacher divested his Pro Stock Motorcycle team after the 2007 season. The four Funny Car teams turned into two a couple of years after sponsor Terry Chandler’s death. Then at the close of 2022, as he earned his seventh Funny Car championship with Ron Capps, both Capps and Matt Hagan departed. Capps for his own team; Hagan with Tony Stewart Racing. DSR, with 11 dragster titles, was down to a single full-time Top Fuel team in 2021 for Antron Brown, and one for the 2022 season, with Tony Schumacher.

Last year Don Schumacher announced that Tony Schumacher’s 2022 dragster team would be run out of his shops and that Maynard Family Racing would be the primary sponsors of the car, after getting their teeth wet as associate sponsors last year. The Maynard family has been attending races prior to joining DSR; they could regularly be found at the starting line. In fact, they don’t leave after the nitro rounds; they stay and watch everything.

Now the relationship has changed. Joe and Cathi Maynard have turned out to be more than sponsors. They are majority owners of DSR’s Top Fuel operation, effective July 25, 2022.

As majority owners, the Maynards have taken on the naming rights to Tony Schumacher’s rail and the team is now known as Maynard Family Racing/Don Schumacher Racing. JCM/DSR will operate in this capacity starting with this upcoming weekend’s NHRA Northwest Nationals outside Seattle, the third and final leg of the Western Swing. The Maynard family assumes the bulk of responsibilities, overseeing the day-to-day operations surrounding the dragster driven by Tony Schumacher and tuned by Todd Okuhara.

“Cathi and I are more than excited to continue in our favorite sport as the majority owners of the JCM Racing/DSR Top Fuel team,” Joe Maynard said. “It is our strong desire to build a new legacy with Tony at the wheel, while maintaining the legacy of Don and DSR through our partnership.

“Throughout 2022,” he explained, “we have watched our young crew grow under Todd Okuhara’s leadership, and now see a true team performing at a highly competitive level with a strong eye towards making the Countdown (NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs starting after the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend). We are looking forward to enhancing our relationship with Scag Power Equipment, Okuma, and potentially others to build an even stronger team for 2023 and beyond. And, like Don, we are looking for opportunities to fill the field at every race.”

Don Schumacher Racing has many tentacles beyond its Top Fuel team. It has a robust hospitality program, graphic design and vinyl installation, nitromethane distribution, parts and chassis sales, together with a state-of-the-art 75,000 square-foot precision machining and fabrication shop, all of which continue to operate solely as DSR entitles.

DSR’s trio of NHRA Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series entries continue to compete as a DSR entity, separate from the Top Fuel operation assumed by the Maynard family.

Don Schumacher has been diversifying his holdings in recent years, in particular with DSR Performance, whose president Chad Osier and vice president Megan Schumacher intend to continue developing DSR Performance, an enterprise that provides aftermarket, aerospace and defense manufacturing.

“While things might be a bit different behind the scenes, to our fans and partners it will appear to be business as usual,” Don Schumacher said of this rumored change of management for the dragster team. “We have a lot of opportunities in the works with DSR Performance, and will continue to engineer and supply leading racing parts to the drag racing community, in addition to expanding our defense and aerospace contacts.”

Earlier this year, DSR Performance announced a new DSR 1150 crate engine. “I believe we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of DSR Performance’s capabilities,” Don Schumacher enthusiastically remarked. “By being able to let go of the reigns of the Top Fuel team a little bit, we’re able to focus our attention on continuing to develop that side of the business.”

After securing 366 national event wins along with his 19 series championships, Schumacher said his love of the sport has not waned. “I love drag racing and while I may be taking a step back from the Top Fuel team at this time, I have no intention of leaving the sport. Full fields are imperative to the health of NHRA, and we will continue to look for opportunities that will allow us to field championship-contending nitro teams. But for now, this move makes sense,” Schumacher admitted.

The JCM Racing /DSR team and Tony Schumacher head for Seattle and the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals, scheduled for this upcoming weekend, July 29-31.

About Anne Proffit 1264 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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