What is Don Schumacher Racing doing to bring the best mechanical talents from school to the top of the tree?
Don Schumacher, owner/entrant for three NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel drag racing teams (Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown, Spencer Massey) and four Funny Car squads manned by Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr, Jack Beckman and Ron Capps, knows how to find and develop mechanics to service his large squad. He develops talent from within and introduces young, aspiring students to the high-powered world of professional drag racing.
Don Schumacher Racing already has an affiliation with IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) that has seen aspiring technicians work in the Brownsburg, Ind. shop learning how to design, build and maintain a fleet of winning nitromethane-powered, 10,000-horsepower race cars. Now Schumacher has enhanced an association with Western Technical College (WTC) of El Paso, Texas, which becomes the official technical college for four of those seven teams (Schumacher, Massey, Beckman, Johnson Jr).
“We are always looking to add skilled and ambitious people to the DSR organization,” Schumacher acknowledged. The association with Western Tech began through DSR’s Matco Tools partnership; Schumacher now expands an internship program started during last year’s Western Swing and extends the program to the shop environment.
A third group of WTC interns joins DSR for the first four races of the Countdown to the Championship, a six-race battle for titles in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle that begins in Charlotte, moves to Dallas, St Louis and Reading, Penn. before culminating at Las Vegas and Pomona, where Schumacher’s regular staff take over for the penultimate and final races.
Jack Werner, WTC director of automotive technology, heavy & light duty diesel technology and performance tuning is, obviously, excited about the program. “Our partnership with Don Schumacher Racing provides our students the opportunity to train with the best of the bet in the highly competitive world of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing. The teamwork, attention to detail and technical expertise learned by actively participating on a DSR team is training a student can’t receive anywhere else in the world.”
To accentuate the partnership between DSR and WTC, and in addition to Western Tech branding on five of seven DSR race cars, a quarter panel of Beckman’s Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car will sport the school’s logo at seven races, including upcoming venues of Sonoma, Seattle, Brainerd, Indianapolis and St Louis.
Don Schumacher knows where the future mechanics he needs are coming from: he’s training them himself.