JOHNNY WEST JOINS DON SCHUMACHER RACING BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 6, 2008) - Effective immediately, Johnny West has been named crew chief on the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman. Phoenix native...
JOHNNY WEST JOINS DON SCHUMACHER RACING
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 6, 2008) - Effective immediately, Johnny West has been named crew chief on the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman.
Phoenix native West replaces Rick Cassel and will work with tuner Tommy DeLago on the Valvoline/MTS car out of Don Schumacher Racing's Brownsburg, Ind., race shop. As is the general rule at DSR, West will work hand-in-hand with the other DSR Funny Car crew chiefs, including Todd Okuhara, Phil Shuler and Ed McCulloch. “We wish Rick Cassel all the best in his future endeavors,” said team owner Don Schumacher.
West, 53, is a former Funny Car owner/driver turned tuner and has worked with drag-racing greats such as Roland Leong, Doug Herbert, Scott Kalitta, Don Prudhomme and, most recently, Clay Millican. He was instrumental in Kenny Bernstein's winning the 2001 Top Fuel championship, working with tuners Tim and Kim Richards.
"Johnny has a great history in the sport," said Schumacher, "and his talent, attitude and desire to share his experience with the other DSR crew chiefs to help advance each team's performance is invaluable. We are happy to have him on board.”
"In the past when we were together at another Funny Car team, Todd Okuhara, Phil Shuler and I were always able to work together really good because we seemed to come up with new innovative ideas and ways of curing a problem without generating four or five other problems," said West. "We can bounce ideas off of each other and stop potential disasters from happening. One of us will always play the devil's advocate.
"What I've always wanted to do is work with a multi-car team that actually wants to work with each other. If you're planning on having a true team effort you have to have everybody who is willing to offer suggestions or ideas to each other on what's going on. And from what I'm told, that's the way it is at DSR."
West is married to Rose, has a daughter, Johnna; two stepchildren, Chrissy and Keith; and two step-grandchildren.