Tony Schumacher’s Win at Houston Throws Wrinkle in NHRA Home Stretch

Tony Schumacher is used to being the one trying to win a championship on the second-to-last race weekend of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

As far as playing the role of spoiler, not so much.

Schumacher played that spoiler role to perfection on Sunday and knocked off two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence in the finals of the Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

The was was Schumacher’s NHRA-record 85th Top Fuel Triumph and first since a win at Bristol on June 17, 2018. It was also Schumacher’s third career win at Houston Raceway Park and first since 2009.

If you had put money on Schumacher winning this week, raise your hand.


“We’ve been through three race cars in six races,” said Schumacher, who is running Leah Pruett’s backup cars at Don Schumacher Racing this season. “We qualified excellent, then lost our car after Leah (Pruett) broke one. We had to take a new car out, and that’s just the second race on it. That car hasn’t made two dozen runs down a racetrack and Mike Green and this Okuma/Sandvik Coromant Toyota team just went out and figured out how to win a race with it. Unbelievable.

“That’s about as rewarding of a day as anybody can have.”


Points after Sunday’s NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park. One race weekend remains in the 202o season, Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at Las Vegas.


Don Schumacher Racing extended its record streak with its 13th consecutive Funny Car win as Tommy Johnson Jr. beat Ron Capps in an all-DSR final.

Coupled with Tony Schumacher’s win in Top Fuel, and DSR doubled-up for the 66th time in the team’s history and gave the Schumacher empire Wallys Nos. 355 and 356 for drag racing’s winningest organization.

“It was a must-win,” said Johnson, who is aiming to close out his seven-year run with the Chandler family ‘giving car’ sponsorship by delivering his first Funny Car world title for Doug Chandler. “We get close and then we stumble, and we think we’re out of it, and here we come again. We just keep coming back.

“It’s like a heavyweight battle and when we get knocked down, we get back up and keep swinging. I’m just really proud of these guys. They never quit. I’m just super happy with the fight in these guys and this has got drama written all over it when we go to Vegas. You’ve got to keep digging and you knew the final round was going to be a great race. It’s definitely been different this year, but once you fire the engine it’s no different. (Crew chiefs) John Collins, Rip Reynolds, and the whole MD Anderson team has done a really good job under some tough circumstances.”



Aaron Stanfield threw the NHRA Pro Stock category a major curveball with his first career win on Sunday.

Stanfield piloted his Janac Brothers Racing Chevrolet Camaro past Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round. Stanfield beat Kenny Delco, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Kyle Koretsky to advance to the final round for the second time in his career. Coughlin beat Matt Hartford, points leader Erica Enders and Greg Anderson to reach his 115th career final and stay in championship contention.

“I definitely can’t put this into words,” Stanfield said. “I remember listening to my dad race and I’ve dreamed of the day that I could hold up a Pro Stock Wally ever since I was a little guy watching my dad race. It’s always been at the top of my goals. I tried to stay as calm as I could, but I knew my guys had my best interests in mind. I stayed focused, we did our job and we got it done.”


How cool was it to see Tony Schumacher win No. 85 on the same day that Pro Stock’s Aaron Stanfield won No. 1? Are you excited to Erica Enders, Steve Torrence and Matt Hagen close in on championships? Join in the NHRA discussion in the comments section below.

Source: Read Full Article