DON SCHUMACHER CONFIRMS FUNNY CAR CREW CHIEF "RE-ASSIGNMENT" CHICAGO, Ill. (Aug. 6, 2007) - Team owner Don Schumacher today confirmed that he has re-assigned Funny Car crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler to take charge of tuning two DSR...
DON SCHUMACHER CONFIRMS FUNNY CAR CREW CHIEF "RE-ASSIGNMENT"
CHICAGO, Ill. (Aug. 6, 2007) - Team owner Don Schumacher today confirmed that he has re-assigned Funny Car crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler to take charge of tuning two DSR team Funny Cars through the completion of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series: the Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T, with which they and driver Jack Beckman delivered two victories this season, as well as the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T driven by Gary Scelzi.
Mike Neff, who joined DSR in 2001 then tuned the Mopar/Oakley Dodge to a 2005 Funny Car championship and 10 victories for Scelzi, will remain with DSR in an advisory role on these two Funny Car teams, while he makes a transition to become a driver for the John Force Racing Team in 2008.
"Mike Neff is an extremely talented crew chief, and everyone of us at Don Schumacher Racing wishes him well next season in his new position," said Schumacher. "The entire DSR operation is filled with capable and talented people and my goal is - and always has been - to promote from within the team. Therefore, I prefer not to seek a new crew chief from outside the organization to replace Neff.
"Todd and Phil have already demonstrated their tremendous expertise this season by tuning the MTS Dodge and driver Jack Beckman into one of the hottest combinations in the Funny Car class," added Schumacher. It started back at the end of 2006, when Funny Car rookie Beckman, after joining DSR for the last five races of the season, set both the national elapsed-time and top speed records, qualified No. 1 once, and won once after reaching two final rounds.
"This move, in my opinion," said Schumacher, "brings the whole team together. All three Funny Cars will be more united than they have ever been. I see all three of the DSR Funny Car teams, including the Brut Dodge driven by points leader Ron Capps, in the middle of the battle in the new Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
"We're excited about the rest of this season and are looking forward to further advancements in 2008."