DON SCHUMACHER CONFIRMS PERSONNEL CHANGES AT DSR FOR 2009 BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Jan. 15, 2009) - Don Schumacher confirmed today that Mike Green will be the crew chief on the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster driven by six-time NHRA champion Tony...
DON SCHUMACHER CONFIRMS PERSONNEL CHANGES AT DSR FOR 2009
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Jan. 15, 2009) - Don Schumacher confirmed today that Mike Green will be the crew chief on the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster driven by six-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Schumacher also confirmed that Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler will be co-crew chiefs on the FRAM Top Fuel dragster piloted by Cory McClenathan. Assisting Green will be Neal Strausbaugh, Green's "sidekick" for several years, including 2008 on the FRAM team.
Green joined Don Schumacher Racing in November 2007 for the 2008 NHRA season as crew chief on the FRAM dragster, reuniting with McClenathan, who drove the Joe Gibbs-owned dragster Green tuned in the late '90s. The pair collaborated to win 12 races from the second half of 1997 through the first half of 1998. In 2008, Green tuned the FRAM dragster to a third-place points finish for the year, including one victory in three final rounds.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Green. "We have a great organization here at Don Schumacher Racing, where we share information among the teams. And with Phil and Todd working on Cory Mac's FRAM car, I know both teams will benefit from each other's input. Our goal is to win another championship for DSR, and maybe we can make it a one-two finish at the end of the year."
Okuhara became a DSR member in the middle of 2005 as assistant crew chief on the Matco Tools Funny Car driven by Whit Bazemore until he was promoted to crew chief in 2006. He then tuned the Mail Terminal Services Dodge to driver Jack Beckman's national elapsed-time and speed records at the end of that year.
In 2007, the native Hawaiian shared crew-chief duties with Shuler on both the MTS Funny Car and the Mopar/Oakley Dodge driven by Gary Scelzi. In 2008 Okuhara was primary crew chief on Scelzi's Dodge for most of the season.
Shuler came on board at the end of 2002 and tuned Scotty Cannon's Funny Car through 2003. He left the team and returned to DSR in 2006 to work with Okuhara. In 2008 he was sole crew chief on the Rockstar Funny Car piloted by Jerry Toliver.
Said Don Schumacher, "I am proud to have a group of the most talented and proficient crew chiefs on the DSR team. Every season we face new challenges in NHRA competition. The 2009 season is no different. We will pool our resources, share data among the teams and strive to win championships, as we do every year."
In the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Don Schumacher Racing will campaign six teams: two Top Fuel dragsters (Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army entry and Cory McClenathan in the FRAM dragster), Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car, Jack Beckman in the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Funny Car, Matt Hagan in the BrakeSafe Rear End Collision Avoidance System Funny Car, and Matt Smith on the Nitro Fish/XXX Racing Fuels Pro Stock Motorcycle.