Wild, wonderful day for team owner Don Schumacher at Joliet

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From Hall of Fame announcement to 184th title by Antron Brown, it was a great day for for Don Schumacher.

JOLIET, Ill - Sunday started in a way Don Schumacher never had experienced, and ended in a special way that he should be accustomed to by now but isn't.

Team Owner Don Schumacher
Team Owner Don Schumacher

Photo by: Ted Rossino

The owner of NHRA drag racing's Super Team was told that he was voted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 as the 13th drag racer in the prestigious Hall by its director Bruce Ramey.

About 10 hours later, Antron Brown, one of Don Schumacher Racing's seven professional drivers in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, presented Schumacher his 184th NHRA national trophy after winning the Top Fuel title in the NHRA Route 66 Nationals held outside of the city where Schumacher grew up.

Not even a nearly four-hour rain delay early in the afternoon could be a damper on his day.

"Starting out the day by being told that I was elected into the International Hall of Fame was overwhelming," Schumacher said in the winner's circle. "That was a big surprise.

"And then to have Antron win Top Fuel capped off a perfect day for me. It's like I said after Bruce told me I had been voted in that I only am going in because of our great teams and all the great people I'm surrounded by at DSR.

"It's a day I'll remember and for it to happen near where I grew up and started to race is more than I could ever have imagined."

It is the 33rd title won by Brown and one he'll long remember, and not just because it's the second of the season for his Matco Tools team and moved him to second in points behind teammate Tony Schumacher.

"It was very special to be able to be there this morning when Don was told he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year," Brown said. "Don has given me everything I ever could have wanted as a professional racer.

"He makes sure we have all the best people and parts and the safest race cars he can build. We are a big family over at DSR. Just look what happened after we blew an engine in the semifinals. A lot of our teammates on the U.S. Army car came over to help. I have great crew chiefs and great crew guys on our Matco Tools team but those Army guys were a big, big help."

Brown moved from third to second in the standings, passing teammate Spencer Massey who lost in the second round. Tony Schumacher held onto the points lead despite losing in the first round with a violent engine explosion.

Only 11 points separates Schumacher from Massey as DSR holds the top three spots.

In Funny Car, DSR was led by Jack Beckman and crew chief Todd Smith who qualified third and advanced to the semifinals in their special edition Schumacher Electric Dodge Charger R/T when a drop engine cylinder contributed to their loss to eventual event winner Jeff Arend of Kalitta Motorsports.

But Beckman was able to improve one spot in the standings to third behind leader Robert Hight of John Force Racing and DSR teammate Ron Capps. Johnny Gray in the NTB/Service Central Dodge is fourth while Matt Hagan and the DieHard Advanced Gold/Aaron's Funny Car dropped two spots to 13th.

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

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Series NHRA
Article type Race report
Tags beckman, brown, funny car, hall of fame, route 66, schumacher, top fuel